Thursday, October 19, 2006

The Good Old Days

Today I had a personal revelation. I was getting dinner ready and washing some dishes while my mother-in-law was playing with the kids. She was helping Tom with his homework and David with a computer game. It was calm and there was just a nice energy in the house. I was not stressed about how to get it all done. I was at peace. What was different? Then I realized I was not alone. Now I know that I am never alone. Yes, for me the Good Lord is always with me, guiding my steps. But I actually had a warm body who also loved my boys in the house.

Then I thought back to my childhood. My dad was sick with cancer. He died when I was 13. I lived in a place that had a courtyard, in what was called garden apartments. In my complex lived my uncle and his family, my grandparents and my dad's cousin. As a kid, I never knew if my dad was going to be home and all right when I got home from school. There were times he was rushed to the hospital and someone else was there to take care of us. My mom never had to worry about help, it was a few doors down. The sense of family, the community that took care of each other, I guess the clan was there. So even though life was stressful, we took care of each other.

Now fast forward to today. Most families don't think twice about moving to other cities and even other states to live and raise their families. And now I ask myself, at what cost. I am here in my town, essentially alone. Because of who I am I have created a surrogate family but it's not the same. Having this precious time with my mother-in-law has made me realize just how much our generation and future generations are missing by the global movement. Thomas Hilton, the architect talks about creating villages in his work and I long for the village way of life.