Monday, May 9, 2011

hindsight

Saturday I attended the memorial service for my high school buddy Rick's mom. I hadn't seen him or his mom since 2004 and it was good to see Rick, his family and the others I knew who showed up, although it was unfortunate as to the occasion for the gathering.

Rick was one of my best friends in high school. We'd go over each others houses and hang out, and it was definitely different going to his house because it was always so NOISY and CHAOTIC over there.

He was the only one with very young siblings. The rest of us were pretty much the youngest, but Rick was the oldest with a brother and three sisters. So we weren't used to all the racket and the squabbling and fighting that went on over there (and hearing Rick constantly yelling at them to shut up for stop doing this and that, etc.) and I thought this was one dysfunctional family.

Rick's mom was always very welcoming to us - always coming out to talk to us and ask us how we're doing, etc. Sometimes when there was music playing, she'd ask us if we wanted to dance. Well, that just wasn't how I expected parents to act with kids, even if we were in high school - I wasn't used to it.

I would wonder, what are these kids going to be like when they grow up if they all act so crazy right now??? The way I saw it, they were hopeless, haha..

That was back in the early 70's. I guess I am fortunate to be around now, after all these years, to answer that question. They all turned out very well. What I didn't understand back then, especially not having younger siblings, is that you just have to raise your kids right because that will sink in, but you also have to let kids be kids. I suppose I didn't realize I was just as, or even brattier (that was my usual term for his siblings, "brats") to my older sister.

Your upbringing becomes evident over the years and like I said, the whole family turned out very well. And of course a lot of that is due to their mom and dad's influence.

I look back and laugh at those high school days and also miss them because I think of how young we all were back then, and also think gee, if only we knew then what we knew now.

Anyway... it was a very nice and fitting memorial and I'm glad I got to pay my respect to Rick's mom. I just wanted to say here that the way the whole family turned out is a testimony to how both their mom and dad raised, loved and took care of them.

I'm really grateful for my own folks, too. I've certainly done my share of stupid things but that's no fault of theirs - it was my own stubborness or stupidity or whatever, but they always tried to instill in me the right values and like I said, for that I'm truly grateful.

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