Family

Hello Granny I am not sure what my intention is in writing this or rather how I will choose to communicate this with you, but it is something I have been thinking about doing for a long time. I understand now why they call it ‘the long goodbye’. It feels like every time I see you it is not only another day that I get to spend with you but also another reminder of how much you have faded since our last meeting. I miss you so much gran. Although you are still ‘here’, I wish I still had you to share all my thoughts, worries and concerns. So much has changed since your diagnosis and rather than sharing in these pivotal moments with us, you watch from a locked window outside; unable to communicate. I wish that I still had the opportunity to do all the things we use to do together. Driving...
2,053
Dear Grandparents, Christmas and Hanukkah are right around the corner. Historically, this means that the temptation to pile on the gifts, especially the plastic gifts and character toys, is particularly high. But let’s take a minute to be honest with one another. While we appreciate the generosity, and while we realize that there are thousands of kids less fortunate, do we really need more plastic stuff in our house? Our playroom already looks like a toy store exploded in there. And – with help from the kids – we purge it at least once every 2 months AND whenever we go on a cleaning rampage. The toys usually end up overflowing from the playroom into the living room where they inevitably end up under the couch. We are priviledged. Very, very priviledged to have a playroom that literally...
1,872
Dear elders, We want you to understand that you are very important to us and that your life is our roots. You are the bridge, a living link between our ancestors and us. Your life and the lives of the families you come from, is our heritage, our legacy. We would appreciate having the opportunity to know our forebears and their lives through you. We ask that you allow us to learn from them and you to live better lives. With your valuable help we will not have to reinvent the wheel in every generation. Please take the time to fill in your LifeBook with us. We would love to listen and scribe for you as you tell us what we need to hear. Your LifeBook will record a Living Legacy of life and living, of tragedy and triumph, and preserve your hard-won wisdom. We promise to take your...
1,688
Dear Grandparents (and other generationally older relatives): It has come to my attention that you may need a guidebook to understanding my generation and our children. You would think that, because you raised (or were nearby for the raising) at least one of my children's parents, you would be knowledgeable in grandchild/grandparent relations. For the most part you would be right, but you have not factored in one or two very important components to your relationship: your grandchildren's parents. In sweeping my kitchen floor this evening, I found two Easter pez dispensers, a coupon for diapers, some crap from the Oriental Trading company and six unsharpened pencils, all with the name of your financial institution. And I just swept this morning. This stuff would be fine if 1.) It was...
5,553
Dear Mom and Dad, We see it, you kow. The exasperated look you get when we ask you to do things differently with your grandchildren than you did with us. We see the pain in your eyes even as we give our reasons for why we make different choices than you did. We don't mean to hurt you. You have to know that upfront. Just because we decide to do things differently than you did, it does not mean that we are judging what you did as "wrong." We are just trying to do what we think is right based on the research we have done. We all understand that we survived and thrived with your parenting choices. We give you credit for all the love and care you took in raising us. We understand that you did the best you could with us and that you only wanted our lives to be better than the ones you had. It'...
1,989
Dear Grandparents, You are sometimes zany and wacky and some of you smell like chicken noodle soup all the time and others of you smell like discontinued perfumes from the 1920s while others of you smell like cigars and cinnamon. You wear clothes that either match perfectly or don’t match at all but you almost always wear your pants much too high as though Clint Eastwood were the poster child for your generation. Your cupboards are full of foods that may or may not have been purchased five years ago and you seem to think an acceptable dinner is steak with a side of steak (or maybe that’s just my grandparents?). You live in Florida. All of you. Don’t try to tell me you are in Palm Springs or somewhere in Arizona because I am convinced that all grandparents live in Florida. Florida...
2,974
To the State of Ohio legislature, every Ohio magistrate in family court, and the lawyering minions: This is a story of a guy who filed for divorce and thought there's no way what ensued could happen to him. If you tried to write the works of deadbeat dad's across the heavens, and all the water on earth were ink, you could drain the oceans dry. As divorced men, we must accept a certain amount of skepticism. The assumption by the courts is that you will not take care of your children. You will leave them with your parents or friends to venture into the inevitable rebound relationship that is doomed for failure. Or you'll try to recapture your youth by hanging out in bars, and possibly pick up some bad habits along the way. The other assumption is that the mother is infoulable. She's...
2,216
Dear Sister, Congratulations! This week starts your journey into college. It’s an experience you’re sharing with more young women than ever before, and I couldn’t be more proud of what you’ve accomplished. I’ve known you your whole life, and watched you follow your passion for lacrosse, community service and the Beatles. But there’s something that’s never really been on your radar: feminism, and what it means to be the smart, educated woman you are in today’s society. You know what, I get it. I know these issues may sound highbrow and scary, or they may conjure images of marching through the streets with burning bras and unshaved legs. But they’re things you’ll face head-on in the next four years, and I want to offer you the advice I wish someone had offered to me when I first...
1,667
Dear Sister, It has been a long time coming to sit down and write this letter to you. It’s a difficult one to write, and I imagine, may be equally difficult to receive. I have had this on my heart for some time, never quite finding the right moment to express my feelings. In our case, expressing our feelings often meant exposing our vulnerability, and for us our vulnerability was a weakness we couldn’t afford. But its time you hear this from me, so here goes. I need you to give up on the notion that you will ever be the favorite. It’s just not going to happen. Its time to let this one go. I realize that for years, since we were too little to know any different, we have been competing for the title. So much so, that I would wager almost all of our disagreements, at their core, may...
6,271
Dear Annalily, Last weekend you turned 13, (or as you sometimes call it, “tenty-three”). You’ll be starting high school soon too, and I’m cringing as I write that because dear lord it makes me feel old… I feel like I should give you my “sage advice,” being your older sister, but you already are wiser than me in so many ways. I could tell you to stay true to yourself, but you already are. In fact, you are one of the strongest people I know. I could tell you that even when you are stressed or sad or lonely, the feeling is only momentary and everything will be okay. But I know you already know that, because you’ve taught me those lessons yourself. You are my best friend. There’s nobody who gets both my jokes and my problems like you do. I can shoot a single glance at you,...
17,359

Pages