An Ode to Erma Bombeck.

I thought I would be the one person in our family who didn’t get divorced. But no such luck.

by Christine Ferguson • Member { View Profile }

I love Erma Bombeck. I loved her extreme wit regarding family. Often I thought of writing a book and the title would have been Three Sacks A Day. Why? Because I had three bags of garbage every day while raising four children. My mother told me I threw more out than brought in. Those were the best years of my life, but at the time felt like it was so difficult. I spend more time now with my father than ever before. I take notes when he speaks, especially regarding his childhood and being in the Navy during WWII. He is 83 now and struggles with breathing and has some heart problems. But, he is still farming and doing chores everyday, but much slower. He is very stubborn and doesn’t want help when he loads and stacks hay to feed his cows. We weren’t always this close, I don’t remember much of my father when I was young. My mother raised us, he worked all the time. He loves to watch the news and just can’t understand why things happen in the world today that would not have been 50 years ago. Times were simple then, not as violent, or filled with media coverage of all the negative in the world. I see that in my own life, even though I am twenty years younger. This is not a kind world as you get older. "If you have your health, you have everything" is a true statement. People are living longer due to medications and specialties in medicine. They take a quart of blood from my father each month to keep his platelets from clogging. This procedure, along with prescriptions and H2O all night, help him with his health problems. He doesn’t really complain, but it is hard for him not having the oxygen level he needs to do his daily routines. I’m fortunate to have both of my parents still alive. They divorced after 32 years of marriage. As a matter of fact my entire family is divorced. I was the last one, thinking I would break the mold and not get a divorce. However, it wasn’t in the plan for me to stay married after 42 years. I don’t regret being divorced, but I do regret the grief my children have experienced. I know, first hand, and even as an adult it is hurtful and stressful. Now the holidays are fast approaching and my children are spread out and never will I have all my children and grandchildren together for any holiday. Actually, I’m thinking of just going away. But, that would be selfish and hurtful to a couple of my children. Not all of them, unfortunately. I guess that’s why I’m writing. I am no expert when it comes to family relationships. Why do we continually allow ourselves to be vulnerable and—ok, I’ll say it—"have our feelings hurt"? Don’t you feel foolish when this happens? I can’t for the life of me tell you how to keep yourself from those feelings. Some people just let emotions roll off their back, and others feel every little sting that happens to come along. So, what do we do. Personally, I just responded abruptly to one of my children after being asked if I was coming for a holiday, because they need to know so they can make other plans and invite other people. Now, how do you take that? Did I read the wrong message or take that statement incorrectly? The holidays bring out emotions, not always good. So now the problem is how to handle the situation. There will be more to follow, you can bet on it. So, share your family holiday stress time. Everyone has some of the same issues. Maybe we can have experiences to share and compare. Happy Holidays to all.

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