My oldest son once told me that my brothers and I are a dysfunctional family. And to be honest, he’s probably right.
The reason he says we are dysfunctional is that we don’t live near each other, one of us in central Minnesota, one in southern Minnesota, one in Louisville, Kentucky (moving to Dallas) and me, living in Colorado (moving to Key Largo area). We also don’t talk to each other on any regular basis, occasional emails, calls on birthdays (sometimes) sometimes a Christmas card. We don’t get together on holidays (at least not very often).
In age, the oldest is 63, I’m 61, next is 55 and last is 52. Out mother died when we were young (17, 15, 9 and 6), leaving my father to raise us. My father, had his hands full. In addition to work, he had two teenagers and to in grade school; he had to be mother and father and be the nice guy and the disciplinarian at the same time. He wasn’t a touchy feely type of person, and he rarely showed much for emotions. I can honestly say that I don’t remember ever hearing my father telling me he loved me. I know he did, he just never said it.
A mother’s job when raising children (back in the day) was among other things was to teach us manors, show us emotions, and be the one we ran to when our father was angry. Loosing that before you get out of high school left us lacking in many areas.
Don’t get me wrong though, we have all developed rather normally, we all have married, three of us have children and two of us have grandchildren, all of us love our families and believe it or not, we also love each other; we just don’t talk about it. I have been trying to remember to say I love you to them when I actually talk to them; and of course it’s easy to express emotions in emails, after all, they can’t see you.
I always say I love you to my wife, and when talking with my sons and daughters-in-law and my grand kids; and believe it or not, I am real big on hugs. But when it comes to my brothers, we are still working on the new man hug. We don’t get together enough to even practice it. It’s not that we are homophobic, we are just clumsy.
I have to wonder what it would have been like in Old Testament. Can you imagine Issac doing the chest bump with Esau? Maybe is Cain and Abel would have hugged more there wouldn’t have been a murder. I am not trying to be sacrilegious, but just imagine.
Seriously though, I know my brothers and I love each other, and we would like to get to see each other more often, but we are who we are…
Love your brother… your sister, your parents, your children and grandchildren, heck, love everybody, that’s what Jesus told us to do.