I have always loved Thanksgiving. It remains a time to rest and spend time with your family and eat a lavish dinner of harvest bounty.
My family could not reunite this year, but we all phoned to wish each other well. We live in different parts of the South and for some of us it is a two day trip to visit.
For the most part we love each other and wish only the best. Everyone has done reasonably well and we have plenty. Those of us who don't have plenty, have enough. The spirit of generosity is alive in all of us and we see one another's strengths, despite our obvious weaknesses and faults.
We've lived long and a lot of water has passed under the bridge, and most of us have moved on from the insults and taunts we dished out and received as children. My sister and surviving brother stay in contact and are proud of the others accomplishments.
As I have mentioned before, we were a blended family that by the mid 70's consisted of three cousins (originally four except one, Karl, chose to remain in Michigan for reasons unclear to everyone, even him, when we moved South in 1974). Charlie, Sandy, and Steve lived with us as brothers and sister and experienced our triumphs and failures as family. Sandy and Charlie are now dead, but Steve is still alive and living in Johnson City, Tennessee with his girlfriend, Angie. Angie recently bought a new house so they have been enjoying their new single family detached lifestyle.
Steve had a terrible heart attack a few years ago and has not been able to work since.
He has become extremely bitter towards the surviving members of his family to the point where he regularly maligns us on his weblog. He has invented little names for us. My father and mother he calls Uncle Adultery and Aunt Rageaholic. Me he calls Cousin Smart Ass, my brother Matthew he calls Cousin Psycho, and my sister Elizabeth he calls Cousin Skank.
Today on Thanksgiving he posted two items where he maligned his family in the cruelest fashion. I can't be sure of his motives, but clearly he is thinking of us and it is causing his bile to rise.
He has forbidden me to contact him and I don't think he even knows we read his blog. But I do.
I am shocked by his lack of generosity in his treatment of his living relatives. It is ultimately a poor reflection on him as a person, and not on us, that he uses such harsh terms to characterize our lives together.
I will not lose hope that one day he will try to rekindle our relationship (we used to be very close), but every post I read of his where the hatred and venom he usually reserves for his political rants and strangers is directed towards the people who love him and grew up with him, the less I think that it's worth the effort.
Be thankful for those who love you and who brought you to where you are today. Life is difficult enough without spending it hating.