I Love My Family

Today is my mom’s birthday, and I was fortunate enough to get to spend a little time with her yesterday (and to do some laundry). I don’t write about my family much because we don’t spend a lot of time together. It’s not that we’re estranged or anything. I guess it just seems that sometimes we don’t have a lot in common. Nevertheless, I do like them a lot and am very thankful for them.

It’s been a common in-joke in my family that I’ve often been regarded as the prodigal son due to all of my wandering ways, and due to the fact that I walked away from Christianity. My parents and three sisters are still very involved in their churches, but my brother seems to live more like an agnostic. Although Brian and I got fairly close while we ran a youth program together after I got out of college, that connection was pretty much obliterated when I left the Church to do my thing and he started worshipping at the altar of professional sports. At least as long as people keep making movies, we’ll always have something to talk about. But as the old axiom states, it is wise that we steer clear of religion, politics, and sports.

We still get along pretty well, and see each other from time to time when one of us thinks to contact the other. My parents, Brian, and his lovely wife Jennifer took me to lunch at the Breakfast House, one of my favorite restaurants in Sarasota, for my birthday a couple of weeks ago, loading me up with gift cards and the Key West omelette stuffed with lobster and shrimp. Brian and Jen got married about two years ago, and she has completely changed his life for the better. I’m actually a bit jealous.

Nevertheless, I feel extremely fortunate that I get some really unconditional love from my family. You may not have noticed, but I can be a real horse’s ass sometimes. Yet my family is always there to help me move from place to place, rebuild whatever bridge I’ve burned, and if not to necessarily encourage me in my windmill chasing, they at least don’t discourage me, and acknowledge that I’m just following the tao of Steve. I think one of the best things is that they don’t worry about me anymore, probably a good show of their faith in a Supreme Being, and the tattered angels that have been riding on my shoulders these last several years.

I don’t let any of them know often enough how grateful I am for them, but I often forget to do that with a lot of people. Maybe it’s a symptom of the ADD. Maybe I’m just a selfish jerk. Either way, I really am a lucky guy and try not to take my good fortune for granted. I thank the heavens that I got the family that I got, and although I don’t see them often, especially my three sisters up north, I do really appreciate them.

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3 thoughts on “I Love My Family

  1. Nice article! Family is awesome and it is heart warming to hear about families that appreciate and respect each other.We do select and choose our parents and family situations pre-incarnate… lovely when people understand the importance of these relationships. Horse’s ass, selfish, ADD? nah.. not believing any of that… no way! 🙂

  2. Hey, Little Brother Steve…

    It was nice to read your kind words about me being good for your brother. I can’t even put into words how good he’s been for me. My happiness level and the quality of my life have increased immeasurably since he and the rest of you McAllister’s came into my life.

    But I’m compelled to comment on a couple of things you said that (despite how eloquently they’re written) are flat-out wrong.

    1. You said that Brian is living his life like an agnostic. Dictionary.com’s synonyms for agnostic are “disbeliever, nonbeliever, unbeliever, doubter, skeptic, secularist, empiricist, heathen, heretic, infidel, pagan.”

    Huh.

    Your brother and I pray together every day; we also talk about bible principles and prophecy, and how practical Christ’s teachings still are today. One of the many things that attracted me to Brian in the first place was the ease with which we can talk about God and share our beliefs. I’m no expert, but that doesn’t sound very agnostic to me. And no, you don’t see us in church often; but it’s certainly not because we don’t believe in or worship God.

    You may say “I didn’t say he was an agnostic; I just said he seems to live like one.” But “agnostic” isn’t one of those labels you can just toss around lightly, like “sports nut” or “Dolphins fan.” You could call Brian either of those things and you’d be right (but “worshipping at the altar of professional sports” is a ridiculous exaggeration).

    2. The other thing you said that I completely disagree with is that your family “doesn’t worry about you.” That’s not just wrong, it’s also an insult to the people who love you. I can personally vouch that both of your parents, as well as your brother and I, definitely do worry about you. But you’re an independent adult who makes his own choices. Just like it is with anyone, others may not agree with all of your choices— but that doesn’t mean those people don’t worry about you, care about you, and help you whenever appropriate.

    I hope that you take what I’m saying in the spirit it was intended. Normally, I try to be pretty agreeable and not make an issue out of most things. But sometimes, you just gotta set the record straight. And little brother, for the record: Brian doesn’t even slightly resemble an agnostic, and YOU are cared about, worried about, and loved… whether you realize it or not. 🙂

    Love and a big hug,
    Jen

    • Thanks, Sis. I didn’t mean to be offensive by saying that. It’s just that Brian and I don’t really talk about those things. Actually, we don’t talk about much of anything these days, but that’s probably why I assume (and I know that I shouldn’t make assumptions) that you guys don’t worry about me. But heck, I don’t even worry about me. The angels on my shoulders are banged up and battered, but they’re really freaking good at their jobs. So I humbly retract my statement that my brother seems like an agnostic. If I really wanted to push the envelope on it, I could say “from my perspective, it appears as though…” but that really wasn’t the point of my post in the first place. The point of my writing it was that mom made me realize that your taking me out to lunch kind of got overshadowed by my getting a new house and I thought I’d hurt your feelings by not giving you your props. Of course, I guess the road to hell really is paved with good intentions.

      Much love back atcha.

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