Sunday, 9 August 2009

Family Man

I got a nice surprise the other day. My parents, whom I believed to touring around the top end of Australia, appeared on my door step.  The old man was quick (well as quick as the old guy can go now days) out of their bus and eager to show off his brand new beard. Mum, moving, shall we say, more gracefully, appeared out from the bus and came over. Mum was feeling a bit off and was losing her voice. Mum often loses her voice when she is feeling off, however I have also noticed that this happens when she is feeling stressed.

To cut a long story short, too late you say, we decided that it was easy to go out for dinner, have a few drinks and relax. As we sat around the table and joked and laughed, I noticed that Mums voice was returning and by the end of the night she had her voice back. This got me to thinking about the importance of family and the need to work out your differences and stay in contact with them.

I know that a lot of people have had problems with their family and that they want very little to do with them. It has been said before that while you can choose your friends you cannot choose your family.  However the bond that you have with your friends is never the same that you have with family. And now matter how much you may despise some members of your family, there will be always that one person you have a connection with, whether it’s a brother, sister, uncle, aunt, parents or grandparents. That one person that you can talk too.

The benefit about talking to a family member is that they have a better understanding about you and your family than any friend ever will. Plus as you are keeping it within the family and you can whinge your little heart out without the worry that it will heard by the wrong people.

I believe that it is also important to mend to riffs in families. They are the people that we have a past with, the people you grew up with and know you the best. Even if you are angry over an event, you may find that the person you are displeased with may be missing you and upset that you are not talking. And the funny thing is that when you see that person again, if you have a good relationship all is soon forgiven and the problem is just water under the bridge.

However, always expect to fight with your family. Even now in my mature(?) years I still fight with my brother. We both need to be right and have things done our own way. While we done have the punch ups we use to when we were kids, we can get quite angry with each other. Then, five minutes later we can sit down have a drink together like nothing ever happened. The only person that gets upset is Mum, but she still rouses on both of us.

No matter what has happened in the past try to build a bridge back to your family. There are a lot of people out there that are disappointed that they never got the chance to clear the air with a family member or even got to see them again. Don’t an opportunity pass you by. You have the ability to take action. Don’t wait for the other person to do it, you could wait for a long time. Be humble and speak to them. It may not turn out the way you want, but unless you try you will never know. Who knows, it could work out great and you will be a lot better off for it.

I still like the opportunity to talk with my family and love having my Mum and Dad visit (mum will cook for me when she comes out, she even washed clothes for me last time).  I know that they like coming to visit and that when they leave they always feel better. So do I. So reconnect with your family, take a chance, you never know you could make their day.

Terry Shadwell

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