Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: FAMILY (01/21/16)
- TITLE: Sticking Together
By Lisa Hudson
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I believe I have finally figured out what, or I should say, ‘who’, is the glue that holds a family together. Earlier this week, our son’s girlfriend was eating dinner with us, when she shared how her father was working in Afghanistan as a contractor, and how he had been there since before Christmas. When I asked her how her mom was doing with all of this, she replied matter-of-factly, “I don’t know. I think they’re going to get a divorce.” Her father had just retired from the Army, having been deployed many times previously. Casualties of war aren’t always counted in human lives, but within the family as well.
I felt a deep sadness for her, because I knew firsthand how it felt when my parents divorced. I was thirteen at the time. As if a child couldn’t feel like more of a freak than when they are in middle school, my family was a complete mess too. This was one of the hardest moments in my life to get through, and I wish the young girl who was sitting across from me could be spared the pain she will inevitably face very soon. I looked at my son, and then at my husband of twenty-six years of marriage, thankful that we were doing all we could to keep our family together.
We have had our challenges as a married couple, and it wasn’t even that long ago that I could have easily chosen to throw in the towel. We had faced many family situations that were difficult and almost unbearable. I believe I was on the brink of a complete nervous breakdown, but after seeking professional guidance from a Christian psychologist, I have come to a place where I am okay, and that I know my marriage and my family is worth fighting for. How do others face these trials without God’s Word for guidance, and His power to give them strength through it all? Where is their hope?
After my parents divorced, our family ended up scattered all over the country. My father passed away at a very young age of forty-eight years, and ten years later, my mother died, only being fifty-seven years old. As a result, I rarely, if ever, see my brothers who live on the other side of the country. My sister, to whom I am closest, lives five miles down the road. It’s been nearly a month since I’ve seen her. Her life is full of drama and turmoil, so I consciously stay away. Her life choices tend to have a very negative impact on mine. She is also divorced, and her own daughter’s life is a terrible mess. It pains me to watch her children, my sister’s grandchildren, as they too are headed down a very shaky path toward a life of grief. It is all they have known. They are constantly in my prayers.
My husband’s parents are still married, and God willing, they will celebrate their fifty-second anniversary this April. My sister-in-law and my husband make it back home to see their parents regularly. My children and grandchildren know and love their Mamaw and Papaw dearly. I love my husband’s parents as well. They are the reason we remain a family today.
No matter where our children end up in this life, I pray they will always want to come back home, and when we gather together as a family, those ties that bind us will continue to grow stronger. Their spouses will know they are part of a family, and their children will have precious memories of visiting with their Grandma and Grandpa. I want my husband and me to be that glue that holds our family together. If we don’t accomplish anything else, it is my hope that our legacy will be that we loved and honored God with our lives, and that we remained a family during our brief time on this earth.
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