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Reflections on Times Past

Remembering a Statement

By The M.A.D. DadPublished 2 months ago 3 min read

The Holidays stir up so many positive memories. Now that I am older, I guess I really appreciate more the small customs that I attribute to those that have passed out of my life. I wish, as I am sure most people do, that I had been able to realize or cherish so many past events more at the times than I did when they occurred.

I grew up in a small town in the Smokey Mountains. We were a large family in terms of my extended family. My mom was one of seven siblings. So, I had many cousins to hang out with during the holidays. When I was younger, we were close. Sadly, as I grew up, my life changed, and I guess, in full disclosure, I am not really super welcome at holiday events.

Why? In that particular region, education is not necessarily considered a positive thing past a certain point. A common mythos is that education takes the place of critical/practical thinking and that it leads a elitism. Many people say that education causes a person to disregard the struggles of those who came before in a community or family and made sacrifices and struggled to create better circumstances for their progeny. This fear is stated as "You are above your raisin (raising)." Or, translated differently, "You think you are better than your family, community, etc."

I heard that criticism when I was 12 years old. I loved reading and learning. I still do today. Ironically, I have transitioned to the profession of teaching in post-secondary education. Though, I have grown and learned more, I still hear that criticism in my mind from time to time. I guess it feels like a scar in my psyche.

I used to resent the idea. It infuriated me. It still hurts my feelings. Don't get me wrong, I forgave the individuals that said it to me, but I don't think that they ever let the idea go where I was concerned. So, by the time I was in my 20's, I was less and less present at family events. When my grandmother passed almost 20 years ago, I stopped showing up at all family functions.

Why? I guess I just felt like I was just not welcome anymore. That statement was always in the background for me. I love my family, but I guess there is just a divide that will never be crossed. I have sent probes out several times in the past with many people. Offers to call, get together, but always asking those individuals to reach out to me if interested. And, almost 20 years have passed with no return phone calls or messages.

Lonely, mad, hurt, sad could all be my takeaways from this memory. It does sound tragic. But, I guess I discovered something else from this situation. We are born into a family by blood. But, we are adopted into a family by love. We build families with our friends and individuals that cherish us and whom we cherish as well. We find love and value where we share our lives. Our true family is with whom we count our days and value interaction.

If you are like me, and, perhaps, your family situation is not a Hallmark Christmas card, consider that you can find your family out there in life. Be vigilant and trust that others will see the amazing person that resides in your soul! Believe that if you put love out into the world, it will bring back others to share it with together.

One last thought, like any investment, "invest where you see return." In relationships, if you are putting in love, those who share your life with you should similarly show love. May love find you always!

And, putting it out there, even though they may never see it or hear it, to my family blood or gained, I wish you each and all happiness and wisdom! Be well!

The M.A.D. Dad


About the Creator

The M.A.D. Dad

I call myself the M.A.D. Dad. M.A.D. stands for Martial Arts Direction. I want to help others battle the forces that threaten our peace with lessons that I have been blessed to discover through my experiences in both Martial Arts and Life.

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