Happy Families

Daily writing prompt
Describe a positive thing a family member has done for you.

The more I hear other people talk about their families, the more I realise how gob-smackingly lucky I am. Every single member of my family, from distant cousins through my husband’s relatives, to my son, is good. None of them are selfish or greedy or unkind. They are all good company, and I always look forward to seeing any one of them.

My husband’s family, from his 90+ year old mother (now deceased, sadly) to his daughter, seemed to accept me into their lives without question when I turned up eleven years ago, regardless of the fact I am nothing like any of them. No one even flinched when they met me. That’s a huge positive in itself, they made me feel welcome, and they continue to do so. The family of my first husband weren’t like that. I don’t think it was intentional, things were different in the late seventies, but I always felt like a shameful secret with them. When he told his parents we were getting married, they looked visibly horrified as they smiled and congratulated us. The day before the wedding his father told him it wasn’t too late to back out!* I feel like a perfectly normal human being with my current husband’s family.

My own siblings are a joy. Here is a tiny selection of positive things they’ve done for me recently: they all surprised me for my birthday last year by conspiring with my husband to show up at my favourite restaurant in Glasgow (two of them live in Kent and one lives in Falkirk); also last year, my brother rented a huge penthouse apartment in Cologne for us all to spend a long weekend together; my sister who lives in Falkirk meets me once a month in Glasgow, and we spend the whole day together. Last time she paid for lunch and coffee & cake because my birthday was coming up. This weekend I missed her 25th wedding anniversary do because of ongoing health problems**

The most recent positive thing a family member has done for me, though, took my breath away.

My computer has been misfiring for some time. The battery barely lasts through an episode of Ted Lasso; the screen has weird lines on it and sometimes shows the ghosts of all the documents/app/webpages I’ve been looking at, making it virtually impossible to work on. So, remembering my son telling me his company provides all staff with a new lap top every three years, I asked him if they sell the old ones. They don’t, they have them refurbished and give them away, and I could have one if I wanted. I wanted. As he was visiting last week (he lives in the USA) he said he’d bring one with him, perfect!

Rather than stay in Moffat with us, he and his wife rented a flat in Edinburgh big enough for us to stay with them, we picked them up at the airport and all went to the flat together. Once we’d sorted out a few things, we settled down with tea in the lovely sitting room and Bob went to get the things he’d brought me: a beautiful jacket his wife had had made by a local artist from a vintage, Pendleton blanket that she’s never worn because she doesn’t like the smell of it; a very cosy LL Bean jumper he bought but never wears because he doesn’t like the shape of it on him; a bag of freeze dried sweetcorn kernels I’d asked for (can’t seem to get them here); and the lap top.

Not a second hand MacBook Pro, as I’d expected, but an Apple refurbished, one year old MacBook Air that he had bought for me! He thought the refurbished company Pro was too old and wouldn’t last long enough, so he decided to just buy me a virtually new computer and chose the Air in Midnight, a lovely deep blue I initially thought was very dark grey. He then helped me set it up and transfer everything from my old Pro, with infinite patience. I don’t think it’s possible to feel more loved.

And that’s the real positive here.

The new computer will make my working life massively easier: I’ve been trying to do everything on an iPad which could be awkward, if not utterly impossible. But the main thing about it is that every time I use it, or even glance its way, I am reminded that my son, Bobsey, loves me enough to go to all the trouble, and expense, of buying it for me.

*I must say, his sister and brother aren’t included here, they were lovely and I still miss them very much.
**Nothing to worry about, it’s just the sciatica thing, still.

6 thoughts on “Happy Families

  1. I read that Ms Abramovic, the performance artist, said something like the real family is the one you chose. That seems tough to me, in many ways.
    My family of birth is gone. It wasn’t large anyway. What I call “family” today is really my partner, her son, and that’s it. The positive thing is that they are there.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I have some sympathy with Ms Abramovic, and this is probably true for some people. I’ve never been good at making or keeping friends, I’m too odd for most people. When I was younger and pretty my oddity was considered charming, but now I’m old, less so. Though some are sweet enough to call me ‘arty’ and put up with me. So, I’m very lucky that my biological family loves me as I am, though I suspect I try them at times.
      I’m glad you have your partner and her son. Sometimes your family finds you. I feel happily adopted by my husband’s daughter and her children and husband.

      Liked by 1 person

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