Tuesday, April 05, 2005

A Tale of Two Patriarchs

JeffMan... Wow. Is this your first round of grandchildren? If the girl-baby items haven't been returned, just save them for the arriving granddaughter. You're not kidding, man. This extended family-stuff keeps you HOPPING...Good thing you like travel. I take it that you would NOT have approved of the induced labor, right? I imagine you would have had very STRONG opinions about that. I know I've said it before, but you share MANY traits with my expatriate Brit roommate. He has the no-bullshit, post-war Britian values which, unfortunately, have NOT served him in good stead with his OWN family...Only ONE of his children now talk to him...and recently, a loan he co-signed with his son has just come back to haunt him. Through that ONE daughther who's still in contact, cold, business-like e-mails have been going back and forth about how to FIX this problem. Ray Jr. addresses his dad by HIS FIRST NAME and Ray Senior is fighting every bulldog-urge he has not to go ballistic on him. I'd just come back from an AMS last night and as I'm there in my tousled uniform, he asked me a question that broke my heart. "What is it that I'm fighting FOR here, anyway? A family that wants no part of me?" I think he's coming to the sad realization that he has to let it GO and let the chips fall where they may...He's also coming to realize that he has friends that FUNCTIONS as his family. And hey, he considers me a son of sorts...which CAN cause conflicts, as you can imagine. Pre-and Post-Watergate viewpoints causing some sparks from time to time. Ray was once the head of a family. The Englishman king of his castle. He lived the life that's associated with family/domestic interactions: Ballgames, barbecues, beers with the next-door neighbor whose tools he just borrowed...parent-teacher meetings...The post-modern value-system has come along and BASHED him in the bollocks. He MISSES the familial bond. I never REALLY knew it...so I can't REALLY appreciate his loss. But I can be a part of his own immediate "family" now as best as I can... Thanks for letting me blether, my friend. Despite the frenetic pace, I'm glad that you and the clan is doing well... Cheers, mate...

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