What kind of chemistry is involved in creating a family, and how does that formula change over time? I guess there is no single recipe, but this week I had opportunity to observe a couple of examples of fine family dynamics.
During formative years, sibling rivalry can have a significant impact on relationships. There can be a perception that one son or daughter gets all the attention, while another is neglected. One is the favourite son, while another is the black sheep of the family. The perception that “mother loved you best” can extend for decades, but usually begins to fade with maturity and the death of our parents.
Our youngest daughter, Lisa, has a PhD in psychology and specializes in understanding relationships, so I’m sure she is better equipped to analyse sibling relationships than her dear old dad. Suffice to say, from my simple observations, it was heartwarming to see the love, joy and affection shown this week between Betty and her two brothers, Bill and Jack.
Betty & I had worked our way up the U.S. eastern seaboard, and decided to hold up in southern Ontario until we were fairly sure that the snow was gone from Winnipeg. We were unable to spend more time in the U.S. for fear
of exceeding the “180 day rule”, but we also wanted to have a little time with Betty’s big brothers. Brother Jack, and his wife Christine live in Amherstburg, Ontario – outside the normal snow belt. Her other brother Bill, and his dear wife Heather, were able to make the 5 hour drive down from their home northwest of Toronto, so there was ample opportunity to both reminisce and build new memories. As it turned out, we also reconnected with old friends, Rick & Penny, who stopped by at the beginning of their RV trip to the west.
Of course, it didn’t hurt that historic
Amherstburg has a number of fine restaurants, and sits nicely on the Lake Erie North Shore wine route. Wherever we went in this extreme southern corner of Ontario, we had a great time sharing our lives with family and friends. As we left, there were hugs and kisses all round (and a few tears), and it was wonderful to experience this brotherly love.
Just a quick further example: Betty & I spent Easter Sunday in that Ohio Turnpike Service Plaza while our 9 family members – pictured on the first page of www.reddoch.ca– shared a traditional turkey dinner together. Through FaceTime we sat at the table with them, and observed another great example of brotherly (and sisterly) love. Here’s praying that our grandkids, and all in the next generation, find the loving formula that keeps our families together!