Stories mirror life, and regardless of your ideology, the Bible is filled with some great yarns! In fact, I would be remiss if I did not note almost every best seller ever penned, has some plot root from this book of books. Yes, before you think it, it is the same “root of all evil.” Society not withstanding, also adapted Prodigal Son, Technicolor Dream Coats and Birthrights as well. This being said, I think the hardest question any of us will ever face is not “Are you smarter than a 5th grader?” or “Who wants to be a millionaire?” It is very simply, “Have you been Birthed Right?”
Regardless if you are religious or scholarly, Cain and Abel gave the first and deadliest case of sibling rivalry, ripe as an apple for a James Patterson self promoted commercial success. There was jealousy, stalking, rage, murder, deception, family separation and lost identity, everything needed for a series or at the very least a C.S.I. Emmy nod. There are so many cliché phrases come to mind with families – like that pesky hope, which is always, leaving wet footprints as it springs eternal. However, they are just a sugar coating to what we all avoid looking at. Family life is dysfunctional, in our home it is even dysfucktional, but that is an unsugared joke. Boiled down and brutally honest, families have at some level, always been at odds, and if you disagree, there is a good chance YOU are the level most odd. Equally as frustrating, is why our self worth is based upon personal acceptance by strangers, not from our family.
When Cain and Abel had their final showdown, Joseph’s brothers brought back his coat or when the Prodigal Son returned home to upset the apple cart, it was a private family matter. However, in our time, society and its audience demand public interpreted relationships (Dr. Phil – “winning”), and we moan and groan on social media sites, until our fingers can no longer keep up with our brains. Even if we do have what could be considered a good family structure, there are enough loose threads woven into all of us, which once pulled, will prove we are unraveling. A close knit family structure isn’t just given out with an umbilical cord or a wedding band, no matter how desperate housewives are to make it appear that way – everyone involved has to make it happen.
Love and respect take a backseat to ego and self gratification, and any brother or sister getting more attention or success is soon to be caught in the DNA banded cross hairs. Sadly, those blind sighted if not Prodigal siblings, usually have nothing initially or directly to do with it, and will stand back wondering why the hate, rage and disassociation from the flock they were suppose to be a part of. Easy – jealousy wins and you flocked it up.
Maybe the real purpose of our place in this life is simpler than we want to admit (isn’t that always the case after all?). Maybe, there is no road to eternal redemption, aliens or approaching Horsemen, who will find us all unstable anyway. Maybe, just maybe we are only supposed to learn how to deal with one another on emotional, spiritual and physical levels. It would certainly explain war and marriage, having children and being alone. In lieu of any other nugget of golden rule knowledge, this works for me.
No matter how much we as parents love our children, they don’t think we do it right, and face it, if you have more than one child there is a fatted calf in all our closets. So, more often than not, they do the same and pick a favored parent, putting a competition mode into Failsafe. Regardless of how it happens, that failsafe trickle down, forces sisters, brothers and parents to feel inadequate (just ask Henry Fonda how long it took to get a Golden Pond). Siblings usually continue this emotional pattern into adulthood – unless they have sought out successful therapy. They see one as more favored, while they are less appreciated in some way –imagined or not, and we stand back looking for some goatskin to wipe the blood from our own not so innocent hands.
As a new parent, I bought identical items for my girls in good faith, to avoid fights and yet there was still animosity I could not control. Why? Because the traits we all were born with, had no control over and made us who we are in this life, take center stage. We have to eventually realize, we are just guides to those travelers in our life and our direction or lack of such, is only half of their inevitable journey.
Regarding the identical item project? Well, one took perfect care of hers, and was viewed as being better than the others or in her own world. Another played more creatively and destroyed things in the process. She was viewed as being unappreciative or uncaring. The other was a combination of both, and although she could choose either sisterly side, she stayed honest to herself, called a loner who just didn’t care. Imagine fortune telling psychology from a shopping cart! Who knew? The sad irony was that prophecy was really fulfilled wrong as it was, resulting in three only children from the same parents.
So, when my time comes, I will prepare for crossing over to the other side, explaining why I obviously ran with scissors and couldn’t play nice with others. I will open the closet where that first born foibled calf of many colors has been since my dream of motherhood in 1980. I will also, try to explain how in my earthly life, I am sorry I was born looking like I did, the personality and level of intelligence I was given to work with, how I loved with all my heart, gave to those who needed it, practiced one or more daily random acts of anonymous kindness, loved animals and respected nature in every way I could, and would lay down my life and every earthly possession I owned for my daughters, no matter how they feel I raised them. I hope with all my being at that point, I will be forgiven for trying to have a family in every way I was able.