When I see the normal to which others ascribe, I want to drop to my knees and am thankful to God for my sense of normal! My life has been far from perfect, idyllic or even one of privilege, but my life has been perfectly idyllic in what blessings I have had! I have been richly blessed for instance with parents who did their best, never turned from or shirked their responsibilities regarding home & family, especially their children. In fact, they worked hard & diligently to provide what we needed whenever we needed it. They were not from wealthy families, in fact, my father was the first member of his immigrant blue-collar family to go to college! He deliberately took the time to consider all of life’s options, choosing quite wisely for his family when moving us as his job demanded . . which we did many times as kids.
He took great care when picking houses he could afford in the best areas he could find, he checked out the school & the districts, even when accepting his new positions he weighed the impact of all its benefits upon us, his family. When laid off, he never quit looking for work even though it would sometimes be a lengthy process of hundreds of interviews & rejections, with him flying around the country to look for what might work. He never considered his failing to provide as even being an option. He just did what he had to do & always held his confident demeanor with us. My parents both never bought more than they could afford, qualified for every home & lived on a wing & prayer when they had to move us during one of my father’s relocations or promotions, hoping the current one would sell so that they could buy one in the new location.
My mom actually lived without a car, with three kids all of school age, for over six months back east, in snowy weather, as my father had to take the only one we had to drive out west for his new job. She relied upon my grandparents to come down to her house from a state nearby each weekend to take us all out for groceries & to do errands. That was just what had to be done, & we were all a willing part, no one gave up, left or got bitter or resentful about it. We never considered it anyone else’s problem, just a part of our family’s life of sometimes struggling but definitely loving!
Life isn’t always easy & without struggle, sometimes it requires cooperation among family members, it might require getting by with less for a while or compromising on having all the toys because we have kids. We have to learn to do what we need to do for each other, instead of expecting others to do for us or just taking what isn’t rightfully ours. This retrospective look keeps me earnestly aware of how impatient we’ve all become, expecting things right away, not knowing how to wait upon or work as hard for things which we might have. I see the normal of some people & although my normal was not always perfect, I will take it & be thankful for it, as it taught me that love doesn’t quit on hard times, it doesn’t walk away from duty & responsibilities, it doesn’t stop feeding, clothing & housing or expect things when it’s just not the right time.
Love is patient . . love endures . . love is what remains when everything else material & thus inconsequential passes. I might not have always had the dream life, my family might not have lived in a castle, but we surely had enough of anything that mattered . . & still do! This is what family means, love without cost & worth any price!