I am on Facebook with many of my friends – I am grateful to be able to connect even in a small way with those I have known over the last 40 years of raising a family, moving so many times, and crossing paths with truly wonderful people. For those that are my age and older, though the sharing is mainly positive – much of it has been about the struggles that naturally occur with aging and the passage of life and time.
I took a couple of psychology courses in college, but never quite understood some of the nuances of defining and marking stages. I suppose it was because at the time I was a young twenty-something and it was all academic information I needed to know for a test. Just like I wish someone would have mentored me through my mothering experience, I wish someone in the academic world would have stopped and gotten an older person in to simply share experience.
The other piece that is affecting us now but we did not correlate until now is the cultural influence on what is taking place in the lives of mom and her remaining siblings. My sisters and I did not grow up in a traditionally Filipino environment. It was very much mixed and who we are now is the product of being raised in a culture of mixed norms and mores.
Already the conflict is making itself evident in my relationships with my children. They don’t quite understand my stances or reasoning for why I do things. This and the fact that our lives don’t intersect often will create what my sisters and I are seeing in our relationship with our mother. We often misunderstand and misinterpret her values, what she is communicating, and how she communicates. Of course, this is just a blog so is not comprehensive. I am sure there are books out there that explain all this – that I need to read.
Maybe all this is why I feel a need to write it all down. Maybe that is why my sisters and I make it a priority to have an “us” time at least once a year without family – just us in a place where there is no laundry, dishes, or distractions. Maybe I want to do a better job of being cognizant so that I communicate, relate, and connect to those I love.
I see them on Facebook and in church and out in the community. People trying to connect, communicate, and relate. What do I want? I want to do a better job of connecting with mom in the time we have left where she is still able to share in her own way. Then, I want to do a better job of connecting with my family and it won’t be on social media using cryptic posts or tweets.