Sunday, April 14, 2013

One Hundred Things My Mother Taught Me A Million Times - Chapter 99

#99 “All you ever really have is your family.”

When I was in my 30’s,  a friend told me that she was suing her mom and sister over some property. I was dumbfounded. I couldn’t imagine a world in which I didn’t speak to my family except through an attorney. On the other hand, I’ll bet that if a non-family person filed a claim on that same piece of land, the mom and two sisters would stand together. I don’t think I ever heard my mom say “blood is thicker than water,” but it’s a lesson that we all learn eventually, and isn’t too far from mom’s #99. 

It was always sort of annoying when my mom insisted that me and my sisters and brother and their kids get together - an inconvenience to my very important life. But of course we all did it silently thinking, “Mom will probably die soon so we should just make her happy.” Little did we know that she would live to be 98, manipulating us over and over again into gutting our busy schedules to  spend a couple of days dodging screaming kids and arguing over who would clean the kitchen. Now those memories are some of my most treasured, and the love they cultivated for our ever-expanding family feels like the fabric of my worth.

In my undeniable predestination to become my mother, I too find myself pushing #99. I do everything but pay my kids to get together and it is worth every penny, and any guilt tripping and groveling I have to add. It’s not that my kids don’t want to get together, it’s just that their everyday lives are consumed by kids, school, work, bills, relationships, and occasionally, sleep.  What they may not realize now, but soon will, is that they are weaving the strongest net ever,  the net of love and protection; the last line of defense - the net of family.

So mom was right. All you ever really have is your family. Bind them to you to give them, and you, strength.


  1. wonderful blog and wonderful family. love you all, doob

  2. By the way, "Family" is not just those with whom you share genes. It is also loving and faithful friends, with whom you share your soul - like you, dear friend. XOXO

  3. I remember certain food dishes being served at those Wade gatherings--they are the stuff of great imagery & sense perceptions (smell, taste) and include toast burned under the broiler, smothered in apricot jam. Also, fried "doodles," Honey's candy, "penuche" (think that was the name), fried chicken & lots of iced tea. Funny how the food binds itself to memories of love & family. Jane