The Love of Family

For the Love of GodFamily

Posted by Bob Laurie Tue, February 26, 2019 16:11:22

When I was about 10 or 12 years of age, I remember lying in bed one hot summer night,(before we had an AC) and calculated in my head how old I would be at the turn of the century. The thought of being 45 scared me. I laid in bed suddenly terrified that I would die one day. I assume now that this was my first thought about my death. When my fear was too overwhelming to deal with, I started crying and hurried to the living room downstairs to plead to my mom and dad who were watching television. "I don't want to die," I said. They looked at me and then smiled. "What makes you think you are going to die?" I explained to them that I would grow old and die one day. I don't remember what they said exactly, but it was something like. "That is a really long time from now, you have your whole life to live." That's all I remember, and I guess they put my mind at ease and I went back to bed. I never feared death or my own demise since, except for when loved ones died and I am reminded of my own mortality.

Looking back on my life I can remember doing careless and stupid things that could have caused my death, but when I was young, I considered myself invincible. I think a lot of people under 30 doppress. It's not until we pass the mid-point of our lives that we start contemplating when, how and why we will succumb to the grim reaper.

I can tell you now that my mom and dad were lying to me when they said my death would be a very long time from then. Looking back it wasn't that long ago, in fact, I have come to realize that our lives are but a fleeting moment in time. Now that I have fewer years in front of me than behind I think about what is important and how I want to live the rest of my life.

I've seen people die ahead of their time. Some succumbed to illness and others seem to self-destruct but what was always evident was that these people had family that loved them. Why do people die unexpectedly? I'm not referring to a person that lived to an elderly age, I'm talking about a women 30 years old that had a lot to live for, I’m talking about a child that dies of cancer, or most recently a relative that just retired learning soon after that his life will be cut short.

In all my life I don't think I've ever heard anyone give a good enough reason for these things that happen. We are asked to believe in a God that allows these tragedies. How can we, when such unthinkable things happen to our loved ones? We become mad at God for the unfairness of life and disbelieve God is love. How can he be and still let these things happen?

Bad things happen to good people every day, all you have to do is put on the news to see that people are suffering and dying without justification. Does this mean we are living in a world without God? Some choose to believe there is no God while others decide to latch onto faith, believing there is a divine plan that we don't understand.

No one can prove the existence of God, but who can deny there is love. Starting as a baby with the love of my parents that fed me, played with me, taught me and stayed with me when I was sick. Later they supported me and celebrated with me when I accomplished my goals. Then I fell in love and got married, had babies I love my family more than my own life.

Is the love we experience in our lives a biological, chemical effect or is it a spirit within us reaching out in love that brings us Joy, peace, strength, and happiness. It's hard to imagine a world without love when you think of love as a spirit that is a part of us all, (if we want it).

We can overcome extraordinary and hard circumstances with the love of family. It becomes harder for me not to give this spirit of love a name. God.



The Love of FamilyFamily

Posted by Bob Laurie Sun, June 24, 2018 12:11:25

The family has gone through some changes over the decades and without giving up my age I can tell you I've witnessed some of the apparent changes. I'm not going to tell you that families are worse off today than fifty years ago, because who am I to make such a claim? However, statistics of the census bureau show a decline in many areas of what was called a traditional family such as the percentage of children living in families with two parents. The number dropped 19% from 1960 thru 2016, and the decline continues.

If you grew up with two loving parents, you know what it is to have a traditional family and if you are like me, there are fond memories attached. There are also those that grew up with two parents, but there was a lack of love and even sometimes abuse. When I was thirteen back in the sixties, there was this pretty girl, named Debbie that lived a few blocks away from my home. I would often see her coming home from school and would walk with her. I told her about events I had with my family, like Christmas, Thanksgiving, and vacations. She never talked about her family except for once when she said she hated her dad and wanted to run away. I asked her why but she didn't want to talk about it. I didn't understand hating a parent and wondered what he could have done to make her have such ill feelings toward him. When I asked about her Mom, she said she was sick, but wouldn't elaborate. She had a pleasant personality, and I liked talking to her, but I soon realized that it was best not to talk about her family because her beautiful smile would instantly disappear. I walked with her often and even contemplated asking her out but never got up the nerve. We were friends, and I wanted to keep it that way. I didn't see her over summer break even though I tried to walk by her house in hopes she was outside and also tried to knock on her door a few times. I went through the whole summer not seeing her and was excited to see her again when the new school year started. The first day of school was chaotic with hundreds of kids trying to get acclimated to their new classes. Debbie told me her teacher and homeroom class before leaving for summer break, so before heading to my new homeroom, I ran to see if I could see her. I stood outside her classroom waiting as long as I could to see her before having to go to class myself. The end of the day I waited outside school but never saw Debbie.

It didn't make sense to me that she would miss the first day of school, but I was hopeful I would see her tomorrow. Walking home I saw a girlfriend of Debbie and asked if she had seen her. The girl's sighed with tears in her eyes. Then she told me that Debbie committed suicide a month ago.

There have been some painful events in my life that made me contemplate what is important. This is one of the earliest life lessons I can remember. I thought about Debbie’s unhappy home life that she didn’t want to discuss and how I should have tried harder to know her pain but as much as Debbie's death devastated me, there was a part of me that felt blessed to have a loving family.

I still have a heavy heart when I think about Debbie. I wonder why some children are born into a loving family and others are born to dysfunctional parents and never know the way family is supposed to be. They’re deprived of the love that is needed to have a happy childhood. All families have issues of some kind or skeletons in the closet, but when there is love within a home, there is always someone to help overcome adversity.

So what is a family? It all starts with two people falling in love, a bond that results in marriage and then children. Yes, this is the way God intended it, and when people bring children into the world through casual sex and have children out of wedlock, there is rarely love involved, and the child suffers a deprived childhood, and the lack of love creates a void that they spend the remainder of their lives trying to fill. The children that can't accept their loveless life can sadly windup like Debbie.