Family of 8 or 2; Then and Now.

Evolving Family of  Yesterday and the Present

Have you ever looked up the definitions of the word family?   I found that the word love is nowhere to be found in any definition anywhere.  It is the co-existence of people.   Go ahead, look for yourself.

As of the age of 60, I look back and more of my friends and relatives say, they were not shown any affection growing up.  The problems with half of us today of the 50’s and earlier, are shown on a display what seems to be the perfect union for a family with the love that we nurtured to our children,  and theirs now.  Instill by the growth of the 60’s movement of peace and love, that was all we knew and we probably resented our parents for not showing this emotion of care-free love.  So now we were on an uncertain path of parenthood.  With open arms and of a flower-child, hippie, and flower-power, and with a head full of stranger things than morals or values, we chose Love.  Finally.

Our grandparents and our parents to a certain degree were not shown nor taught the emotions we share today with our grandchildren or children.   I hate to use this phrase, but, “Back in the day,” our grandparents were probably, mostly immigrants and were too busy trying to make their lives successful in their new found country of America.  Whether being a family of  8 or 2, the roles of our grandparents were non-the-less of what they were told to do; respect, work, discipline and have a family. Work was their main attribute toward their family, and that is what most families fathers did.  So, we all can say, we had absent fathers, with very little left in them to show affection to all the children.  Somehow they managed to show, whether a family of 8 or 2, a special little something individually to each child, to show their love.  Whether it be a wink, a word, or a smile, that is what we hold on to.

“I have certainly known more men destroyed by the desire to have a wife and child and to keep them in comfort than I have seen destroyed by drink and harlots”  William Butler Yeats, “Autobiography”

Most our lives we are instilled with what family morals and values are from there parents and so on.  Very few families veered off the path of from which they were brought up as.  I believe in the last 40 years, that cycle has been finally broken.  Not only has the cycle has been broken, but today, a family can be of friends, congregations, a co-existence of people on the same path, it all comes down to love and resonating in the same vibration and being respectful.

Do you think our grandparents believed in this mentality?  No.  Maybe said to be in a congregation of religion, but not to veer off with people that are just on the same agreement in life.   Our grandparents were too busy to make a life for themselves and most of all their families.   After 12 hour days of work, for immigrants, learning the language of English, getting to know the new country of their Home, were exhausted to show the love and compassion for 9 or 2 children.

My dad came from a family of 9.  Immigrants from Italy were his parents.  They only knew of two things.  To be successful in America and to have a ‘family’ that became of  9 children.
 They only taught their children to be someone you have to be successful, respectful and loyal.  My father and all the other 8 siblings never had stories of there mother and father.  My grandmother was not a loving woman, I was scared shit of her.  But this instilled the respect that my family was instilled upon from generations passed. My grandfather showed his love or maybe was the success of baking a special pound cake that made his own bakery one of the best in the state.  From an Italian immigrant to a successful businessman.   This is how love was shown, love for his family.  The work ethic ran thick.
So, point being, love and support does not show up in many families in the way we do today but is the only way they knew how.  Parents were respected for what they did for their children and the children held them in a magnificent light. They didn’t have the time to love, maybe they didn’t know how, but to prove it through the ways they learned.  To provide.
I think the love of family; the touchy, feel-ly, kind of love that parents show today was a  practice of the future, not for us growing up.  Hence, my mother wants that Norman Rockwell picture today.  It will never happen, from the imprint of the family we had.    For those glimpses I had with my dad, that I hang onto to this day and still get me teary-eyed, are the only memories of love.  He showed me what loyalty and respect was.  This is what he was raised me to be, and with a dash of his father’s pound cake. (love)
At the end folks, they did the best they knew how.  We can’t blame them, it is what they were taught.  Hopefully, and I see it happening, generation after generation are showing more love for their children growing up and having a loving rapport.
This essay is just from my experience and view of my family growing up.  I hope everyone reading this, had a little glimmer of this in their life.









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