Thoughts on Life, Art, Photography, Technology, Teaching and Travel…..

On Family…..

My daughter Andei just sent me some photographs of her in Sicily. Anyone who follows my Blog knows she has lived there with her Mom and Step-Dad for over a year now. I would also be lying if I said I didn’t miss her terribly. Thanks to technology I communicate to her almost daily via Instant Messenger and call her at least once per week.

Families have evolved and changed dramatically over the past 50 years. This has become very evident to me as I compile my second blurb book for my mother’s 78th birthday present.

I’ve gained great insight into my family researching this book for my dear old Mother and contacting friends and family all over the country to contribute to it. Not only have I learned about my family, I also am getting a glimpse into just how much things have changed in my lifetime.

My mother is only a little more that 20 years older than me, but her childhood growing up in the 30’s and 40’s was incredibly different than mine growing up in the 60’s and 70’s on Long Island.

My parents are still together and most couples from that generation did stick it out even if their marriages were troubled. I on the other hand have been married three times (yes three) and been single now for eight years and counting. The one thing I’ve noticed researching this book project is the incredible love we as family share for one another.

We may not see certain family members for many years at a time, but the love is still there and that is what these two very different generations have in common. My daughter Andei left North Carolina to move away with her newly married Mother over three years ago. It hasn’t been easy for either of us, yet our love for one another has not dwindled because of the time we are separated or distance there is between us.

I left home to go in the Army right after college and have not been back to New York to live since 1975. Thirty eight years ago. I only see my folks once per year and sometimes not even that much, BUT we still have a great and loving relationship. So time and distance are not huge factors when it comes to family relationships if the foundation for the relationship has been nurtured and built during the early years.

I am absolutely amazed at the outpouring of love our extended family (and her friends) have shown to my mother as I organize and compile this memory book for her upcoming birthday. I could only hope that I impact half the amount of people my mother has in her lifetime. Catherine Keough touched people by her genuine and sincere love and compassion she has for the people that cross her path on this journey through life.

Isn’t that what its really about? She never finished High School and never held a career position although she did work for many years. She stayed married to the same guy for almost 60 years, raised four children and has always put her family in front of herself.

Yes…things may be very different in 2008 from those days my mother grew up in, but there are certainly things to be learned from the generations that came before us – I think we can easily lose sight of this because of the constant demands placed on us in this fast paced, technologically saturated – commercialized society.

Life doesn’t have to be overly complex if we learn to put others first like my Mom. That sounds so easy doesn’t it? Why is it so difficult? I admit that I struggle with this yet the older I get the more aware I am of how life is NOT about me – it’s about others. It about nurturing relationships, its about family, friends and faith– not me.

I’m blessed in so many ways even though I miss my daughter and wish I had done some things differently in my past. Sure…I could have been a much better husband than I was – a better father and a better son to my parents. Weird how we figure this stuff out when we get older and life has beaten us up and jerked us around.

It’s about the LOVE. What more needs to be said? Thanks Mom for helping me realize this through your example.

Final Page of Mom’s Memory Book


One comment on “On Family…..

  1. terry
    August 1, 2008

    Wow pat that really blew me away….you hit a home run with this idea for mom….and you really nailed it on what its all about….i cant thanku enough for putting this thing together…..

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This entry was posted on July 27, 2008 by in Book Project, Keough Journal and tagged .
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