I was musing during the drive back today from Houston – 7-8 hours from Norman to there – just how vital family is. We were coming back from a wedding of one of my nieces, Stephanie Brown, who is about 30 years old out of school and working. It was a great wedding, as all the weddings of the Gremillion family are, but only one thing was missing. My kids are not going to like this, but they were missing. Everybody asked about them and inquired about their lives and what they're up to. And to tell you the truth, I was embarrassed (and I think Susan was too) that of all the families represented there, mine was the only one that didn't have any of my kids.
Oh, they all had valid excuses: going on a long trip, just coming back from a long trip, starting for the bar exam. Certainly legit. I won't quarrel with that. But there's something about their seeming reluctance to join family functions that involve the larger families on both sides that bothers me. I'm at the stage of life where it's completely apparent that very little in life, certainly not the things that are so important to us in our early life, actually matters. I narrow these important items down to two: family and friends. Because in the end, that's all you've got. That's all you can rely on. That's the love you can count on. It's your blood, and it's always going to be your blood, and it's always going to be faithful. I don't like to think that my children somehow are not aware of this. I like it even worse to think they are aware and just don't care.
They will argue that "they don't have anything in common" with the other members of the family. Well, to a certain extent that's true. We've always lived away from Baton Rouge, where just about all of Susan's family lives, and we've been away for quite a while. I would not disagree that this is true on a superficial level. But on the level it really matters, it's not true at all. Because this is blood we're talking about, and blood is thicker than discomfort around people you "don't have anything in common with." Besides, as families go, Susan's family is fantastic. They are good, good people. Generous and kind. It would be a great blessing for my kids to know them all better. And that blessing would run both directions.