The Family “Plot”

As a child I spent many hours dreaming of the type of family I’d have when I had my own.  It would be a little of the Waltons,  touched with a bit of Happy Days, and blessed by angels like in Highway to Heaven.  We’d live in a big house with a white picket fence. The house would be filled with love, laughter, music and reading.  I’d have a home, not a house.  I had it all plotted out.

What I got was completely opposite.

Insecurities, bad choices along the way, marriages to two men who were not my best friend, the tragic death of the one man who was…  Through all of that, I had four beautiful children, children that I dreamed would be best friends, confidants, tight, unwavering in their love for one another.  Again, I shake my head in sadness at what went wrong.  While wonderful and dynamic as individuals, as a family unit, my plot fell apart.  They are not close.  They rarely speak to one another.  One lives on one side of the country, the other is a traveler.  One still lives at home and another is floundering, making wrong, unhealthy decisions.  They are all adults.  My molding, plotting years are over.

Sadly, I can’t pick up an eraser and fix the plot line.  My childhood dream of the perfect family gave way to a different one, a different set of circumstances, six individuals who have failed to connect to one another on an intimate, personal level.  As I lay in bed last night pondering the most recent events, I wondered where I went wrong, and if given the power to go back and fix the story, would I be able to find where the plot line strayed.

I don’t have the answers, but there is one thing the writer in me has taught me about life.  As characters in the book of life, poop happens.  Lots and lots of poop happens.  We are tortured, tested, made to laugh, made to cry.  How we face the antagonists in our lives determines who we are and where we go.  While I would love to scribble ‘happy happy’ on everyone I love, I am not in charge of their destiny.  Their story is their own.  I cannot provide a happy ending for them.  I can provide one for me.  All I can do is hope and pray our stories are entwined somewhere down the road and we all end up together in a great big white house with a white picket fence, in a home filled with love.

It is a dream I have.  My family ‘plot’.





15 thoughts on “The Family “Plot”

  1. Very nice, Jenny. The family plot. I had one of those myself. Still do, but am trying to accept things as they are more and more. I’m not in control, even when I feel they’re out of control. Gotta let the crumbs fall where they may.

    Beautifully written. 🙂


  2. Sadly, real life does not always unfold like a novel and, you’re right, we can’t just erase the parts we don’t like. The pain and suffering become part of the fabric of life. Sometimes the bad stuff causes a hole in that fabric and sometimes it makes the fabric stronger, depending on how the person chooses to weave the bad with the good. I’m sorry things have been difficult for you and your family, but I hope things get better and that your children will learn to appreciate each other as they get older.


    1. I loved what you wrote and I’m with you 100%. My drink of choice: champagne, to toast the failures and successes of my life and I have many successes. Thank you for sharing such an intimate part of yourself with me and everyone else who chooses to click the link. 🙂


    1. Oh, life is supposed to be full of these little bumps. Without them, what would be the point? I mean, who wants to read a book where nothing happens to the protagonist? It would be rather boring, don’t you think? 🙂 Besides, it makes good fodder for blog topics. 🙂


  3. I believe my family now is a miracle because my family growing up was worse than dysfunctional. I was raised to be independent and I raised my boys to stand on their own two feet. I’m so blessed they still want to spend time with mom and dad. Their bad choices cut like a dull saw blade, but they (not I) must live with the consequences.
    I don’t think we would be able to rewrite our family plot to contain less pain and murkiness. We are just too human to choose any path but a flawed one.
    Chin up. God loves you.


  4. I read your story here with interest. The truth is you are looking at lots of stories in progress so don’t let the chrysalis stages of each life confuse you with the finished product. I am an optimist, I think your dream might still come true–but it is delayed until the right time for everything to come together. you have an authentic voice, I look forward to hearing more.


  5. Thank you for sharing this poignant piece of your life. The realities of life have a way of crushing your dreams and making them into something else. I can so relate to your “family” issues and your desire for a happy family. I can relate, so very much, to your words. It has been a long slog with many days and nights crying about my family spread out all across the country. They are slowly making their way back to being connected….one event at a time. Maybe your “family plot” will work itself out in your book of life. One can always hope 🙂


    1. Things will work out the way they are supposed to. I guess we can’t move along the Universe. It will unfold when it chooses. Thank you for stopping by and for your words. It means a lot.


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