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Family stories

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Every family has its stories, its tales of woe and triumph, of loss and redemption. With 6 aunts and 23 cousins, yeah, my family has its share.

Take, for example, the story of my cousin who was athletically gifted. First time out playing football, he goes up against some kid with an attitude, thinks he can rough my cousin up because he's the new guy, playing his first year as a freshman. My cousin tells him to stop, that if he continues, he's going to rough this guy up. Oh, think about it, it's football, the guy doesn't let up, no way. Next play, my cousin tackles the guy, breaks the guy's leg, quits the team and the sport.

And that's one of the good stories.

There's the tsk tsk tsk about an aunt, how life didn't quite turn out the way she expected it would, isn't that so sad. When does life turn out the way you expect it to turn out? I can't say ever. That aunt, from an outside perspective, has a good life and has achieved many goals. She's retired, with her husband, in a beautiful house, with great-grandchildren. I often wonder what demons she might have, if life didn't turn out quite the way she expected it to turn out.

And there's the story about my dad, and how he doesn't understand how relationships work, because he never saw one growing up that had conflict in it, never saw conflict resolved in front of him. He tells us how he saw his mother cry only once in his life: she and Grandpa had a fight about his spending so much time with his mom, and not enough time with my grandmother. My dad saw a woman sad because she couldn't spend more time with the man she loves, and that's the only time she cried.

I can understand that reason for crying. Very much so.

I can understand the snickering about ha, life didn't turn out the way she expected it to turn out, and I can understand life not turning out as expected.

And how that wreaks havoc on the soul until, well, you just learn to let go.

You can steer the boat of your life and not end up where you had intended to go, but both the journey and your actual destination can still be great.

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