Thursday, September 23, 2010

obits and hot tea

I am so lucky to have my sisters. So lucky. In my graduate class last night, Dr. Bradley asked us how we want to be remembered by and we discussed in our small activity groups our answers. I said, without hesitation, my family. I have this sick obsession with reading obituaries and imagining in my mind what they looked like.

Like mother, like daughter.

My mom (and my sisters can attest to this) religiously reads obits every morning, with her hot tea. She jokes that she reads it to make sure hers isn't in there. My mom doesn't think of good jokes. I'm sorry. My mom and I are different in our taste when it comes to clothes, music, temperaments, and personality styles. One thing that we do have in common is our insane love of history. We could walk around cemeteries for hours reading tombstones, etc. And we have. So, it should not be a shocker that we share a love for reading about dead people.

I feel sorry for those people who died without children. Or they had one child, who lives across the country and they don't have kids. That is all we have when we leave this earth; our family is the legacy we leave behind. Careers? Eh, it's nice for the cars and fame. However, as my Daddy told me multiple times growing up and probably still will until the end of his life on here, "what are you going to do when the good lord taps you on the shoulder and says it's your time?" (I think of him saying that and I feel a pang of bitter sweetness, because my daddy is amazing).

It's so true. I can't stick my Coach bags or my loads of jewelry in my coffin. My family will be the legacy that I'll leave behind to show the world who I was. And I pray, it's an acceptable legacy. It's no secret that I want a huge family. Part of my desire to have a family that competes with a TLC show, is because I love that feeling I have when I see my sisters. It's insane. It's amazing. We're all interdependent on each other. We can stand alone, but we can also lean on each other. I can tell Mel exactly what I think of things or decisions she's made in her life and I know that she'll still love me. She has no choice. We're in this together, through thick and thin. Mel gets it that I'm irrational and short tempered and say things that I don't mean, in the heat of the moment. I know that Alayna is a bit more sensitive to things than a normal person. And Jacinta? She's a smart ass who thinks she's good at everything (the blessing of being the baby of the family).

The dynamic of a family is unique and so hard to understand, if you're not from a family with siblings. It's a crazy language that only those in the group understand. If you're still not sure if I know what I'm talking about, spend some time at my Grandpa Bergkamp's on holidays when all the siblings are there at the massive dinner table, while the kids are down stairs. It's honestly a different language.

And yes, I have thought about how I'd react if I can't have kids again. I know what we would do: adopt. When all the music stops and the reality shows are silenced, family is the one foundation that we have. That's it. You may have those best friends that are like family to you. However, nothing can touch the real deal.

Family. That is what I hope to be remembered by. Even if I am the prettiest in the family.