This Christmas season gave me a lot to reflect on. More than anything else I thought about all the people that played a part in my journey. Mostly I thought about my relatives.
I Thought about my grandmother, who grew up picking cotton, had 7 children, an alcoholic husband and still managed to hold herself together. I know she worked hard her entire life and wanted the best for her kids, her grandkids, and her great grandchildren.
I think about my other grandmother, born in a small one room house in rural Mississippi, dairy farmer her whole life, garden center business women, mother of two and even until her death mowed her own grass as a 77 year old woman.
When I think about these two strong women, it makes me wonder what their hope for the future of their bloodline was. Was it their hope that their children would exceed their footsteps. The difference between my Mom's side and my Dad's side is unbelievable.
My Dad's side grew up very privileged, large family, plenty of money due to a brilliant but alcoholic father, and for the most part they are train wrecks. Most bounce around from one shitty career to another and mooch every last dime from my grandmother until they have almost broke her. Her who spent her entire life working now has to live with supporting grown children that continually beg her for bailouts. And when I say bailouts I do mean at times Jail.
My grandmother on my Dad's side was basically the Cadillac of Angie Louisiana. Albeit in a town of 240 thats not hard to do but she was very Queen Elizabeth. Every year from birth I have gotten a check for $100 dollars each Christmas. Its something she did for all 20 grandkids and gave all 7 children $500 each. Thats $5500 just in Christmas cash they she shelled out every year for the last 28 years I have been alive. Not to mention all the gifts.
I don't need money from her, but this year her card in the mail contained $25 dollars. I would have been just as happy with a card or phone call but she thinks she must send money, and it makes me sad to see what she has been "reduced" and "drained" to by her children who can't get their own shit together.
I know she is embarrassed and probably just wants to throw her hands up with it all.
On the other hand, my Mom's side of the family is totally different. From poverty they have risen to the top of the food chain in Washington Parish and could buy and sell most people in a heartbeat.
Then another unique happenstance is that my dad and my mom found each other. Fiscally like minded and totally self sufficient-built wealth out of dirt and could buy their life over and over with cash.
So how from the same blood does this happen, how does 2 or 3 succeed while 5 or 6 slack back not improving on the past generation.
Where am I going with all this. Well this Christmas got me to thinking. I am 28, if I want something I can buy it. If I wanna go somewhere I go. My life is filled with incredible thoughtful educated friends, people of genuine abilities and strengths. People upwardly mobile in this life and going wherever they want to and designing their life to be as fabulous as they please. I feel truly blessed that by some luck of the draw I was not content to just hang around as a young adult.
I definitely had great role models as parents. And I can say that with my immediate bloodline I have watched from grandparent, to parent, to son it does "get better". Each generation has learned from its predecessor, became more and more educated, built and built upon wealth (added to not drained), become more and more well traveled, and fluent in this global market and social world.
And this Christmas as I went from potluck to potluck. Hug to hug, card to card, and the beautiful clank of cocktails with dear friends I began to feel more connected than ever to my blood. For in it is every experience handed down and molding in to a continuum of it self as we go on.
So I want to say thanks to all those that are still alive and those that have passed on that are part of my DNA. All of you have helped me move up and up and if I ever pass on my genetic code I know that my offspring will even have a better life than I. I know you sacrificed and worked day in and day and to make your own life better and I saw that and will continue to live by that example. You succeeded....my life is amazing...and I am glad somewhere deep inside me you are a part of this continuing journey of our blood.