Family

Hi, Dad. For the sake of my safety and sanity, I am remaining anonymous in this letter... you are a Lutheran-Church Missouri-Synod pastor. You know your theology like the back of your hand. And so, as any other confessional, conservative Christian would, you believe homosexuality is a sin. You raised me this way. You raised me to believe that the lives of so many happy people are wrong and sinful. Every time something on the news arises about a gay couple, or your brother, my uncle, talks about how proud he is to be gay, you shake your head and frown. You put these people down. You say things that you interpret as being a "loving Christian," when, in reality, you are talking as the exact opposite. However, I cannot say you hate. I know for a fact you don't hate gay people. You don't...
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Dear mums, dads, aunties, uncles, grandparents and carers. Firstly, thank you for taking the time to get engaged with the 7 Senses Street Day this far! As parents with young families we wanted to share with you our vision for 7 Senses Street Day and why we believe your family should be involved and your voice heard. The idea to hold the 7 Senses Street Day grew out of our awareness of the growing rates of impairment and disability amongst our youngest and eldest populations, and how difficult it can be for families with disability to participate in our current built environments. We know that the impact of living with disability extends far beyond the immediate person with the disability. We know that for every person who is restricted from participating in daily activities...
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Dear Harpy: There you sit, in the corner of my dining room, a one hundred year old beauty in a state of Miss Haversham disrepair. Your sinuous curves, outlined to great advantage with thin scrolls of gold paint, contrast sharply with the strings that pop out in odd directions, like the black wires of Linus’ hair on Peanuts. You exude such a magnetic charm that children and adults alike are drawn to pluck your strings, to run their hands along your dusty angles, and finally to ask the question that you hypnotize them into uttering: “Who here plays the harp?” And I have to answer, every single time, “No one.” Happy now? Thanks! We all get it! I never learned to play you! I’ll admit that upon learning from my father that his mother had left me her precious 1923 Irish harp, I...
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Hello Granny I am not sure what my intention is in writing this or rather how I will choose to communicate this with you, but it is something I have been thinking about doing for a long time. I understand now why they call it ‘the long goodbye’. It feels like every time I see you it is not only another day that I get to spend with you but also another reminder of how much you have faded since our last meeting. I miss you so much gran. Although you are still ‘here’, I wish I still had you to share all my thoughts, worries and concerns. So much has changed since your diagnosis and rather than sharing in these pivotal moments with us, you watch from a locked window outside; unable to communicate. I wish that I still had the opportunity to do all the things we use to do together. Driving...
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Dear Grandparents, Christmas and Hanukkah are right around the corner. Historically, this means that the temptation to pile on the gifts, especially the plastic gifts and character toys, is particularly high. But let’s take a minute to be honest with one another. While we appreciate the generosity, and while we realize that there are thousands of kids less fortunate, do we really need more plastic stuff in our house? Our playroom already looks like a toy store exploded in there. And – with help from the kids – we purge it at least once every 2 months AND whenever we go on a cleaning rampage. The toys usually end up overflowing from the playroom into the living room where they inevitably end up under the couch. We are priviledged. Very, very priviledged to have a playroom that literally...
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Dear elders, We want you to understand that you are very important to us and that your life is our roots. You are the bridge, a living link between our ancestors and us. Your life and the lives of the families you come from, is our heritage, our legacy. We would appreciate having the opportunity to know our forebears and their lives through you. We ask that you allow us to learn from them and you to live better lives. With your valuable help we will not have to reinvent the wheel in every generation. Please take the time to fill in your LifeBook with us. We would love to listen and scribe for you as you tell us what we need to hear. Your LifeBook will record a Living Legacy of life and living, of tragedy and triumph, and preserve your hard-won wisdom. We promise to take your...
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Dear Grandparents (and other generationally older relatives): It has come to my attention that you may need a guidebook to understanding my generation and our children. You would think that, because you raised (or were nearby for the raising) at least one of my children's parents, you would be knowledgeable in grandchild/grandparent relations. For the most part you would be right, but you have not factored in one or two very important components to your relationship: your grandchildren's parents. In sweeping my kitchen floor this evening, I found two Easter pez dispensers, a coupon for diapers, some crap from the Oriental Trading company and six unsharpened pencils, all with the name of your financial institution. And I just swept this morning. This stuff would be fine if 1.) It was...
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Dear Mom and Dad, We see it, you kow. The exasperated look you get when we ask you to do things differently with your grandchildren than you did with us. We see the pain in your eyes even as we give our reasons for why we make different choices than you did. We don't mean to hurt you. You have to know that upfront. Just because we decide to do things differently than you did, it does not mean that we are judging what you did as "wrong." We are just trying to do what we think is right based on the research we have done. We all understand that we survived and thrived with your parenting choices. We give you credit for all the love and care you took in raising us. We understand that you did the best you could with us and that you only wanted our lives to be better than the ones you had. It'...
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Dear Grandparents, You are sometimes zany and wacky and some of you smell like chicken noodle soup all the time and others of you smell like discontinued perfumes from the 1920s while others of you smell like cigars and cinnamon. You wear clothes that either match perfectly or don’t match at all but you almost always wear your pants much too high as though Clint Eastwood were the poster child for your generation. Your cupboards are full of foods that may or may not have been purchased five years ago and you seem to think an acceptable dinner is steak with a side of steak (or maybe that’s just my grandparents?). You live in Florida. All of you. Don’t try to tell me you are in Palm Springs or somewhere in Arizona because I am convinced that all grandparents live in Florida. Florida...
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To the State of Ohio legislature, every Ohio magistrate in family court, and the lawyering minions: This is a story of a guy who filed for divorce and thought there's no way what ensued could happen to him. If you tried to write the works of deadbeat dad's across the heavens, and all the water on earth were ink, you could drain the oceans dry. As divorced men, we must accept a certain amount of skepticism. The assumption by the courts is that you will not take care of your children. You will leave them with your parents or friends to venture into the inevitable rebound relationship that is doomed for failure. Or you'll try to recapture your youth by hanging out in bars, and possibly pick up some bad habits along the way. The other assumption is that the mother is infoulable. She's...
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