Thursday, June 30, 2011

Family First

Wanna say a big thank you to my sister, Sarah, from Debt Dumpers Anonymous for this guest post....  I couldn't have said it better!

Having had so much family time this week, I have been reminded of a few things.


I’ll start this off by saying, I have been watching A LOT of reality television lately.

AAAAAAAAAA LOT.

And I’m finding a theme….

A theme that oddly enough is coming closer and closer to hitting my corner of the world.

Let me start by introducing you to someone…

This is my grandma.


Oops. Sorry. This is my grandma.



Despite my little confusion, She's pretty much our Queen Mother.

She rules the roost around here.

She raised my mom.



Oops. Sorry. Obviously, I'm easily confused today.

This is my mom.


But in reality, Caroline Manzo is pretty much my mother's personality twin.

If you have ever indulged in RH of NJ, which I'm am not admitting or denying, you'll hear Mrs. Manzo say, "It's family. You just do it."

Sure she says it while in the midst of a lot of New Jersey style turmoil and heartache and obvious family conflict….

But it sooooo reminds me of something my mom would say.

Actually, I'd like to have a dollar for every time my mother has said those words or something eerily similar.

My Nanny & my mother both have the same goals in life.

1. Please the Lord.

2. Put their families first.

That's it. No other bucket list that I know of.

No make a million and retire to some luxurious home in the South of France.

No climb Mount Everest or see the Sistine Chapel.

None of that.

They would both be entirely happy going to their graves with nothing more than the knowledge that they pleased their Lord and they put their family first.

My Nanny has sacrificed time, possessions, and finances – among other things – for one purpose: HER FAMILY.

Lucky for me, she instilled those same values in her daughter, and my mother has tried to teach her children those same things.

Family first. Period.

Having come from that kind of background, it’s so easy to forget that not everyone was raised that way. You wouldn’t believe how many people I have watched allow the pettiest of things to get in the way of family relationships. I have seen families torn apart by things that should be no more an issue than a fly on the wall.

My sister and I have this saying, when watching this kind of poor behavior unfold (especially New Jersey style) , “Well, they weren't raised by Nanny…" – because not everyone has grown up with the awareness that family comes first. Not everyone is raised to have a conscience that would not allow anyone, much less their own family, to hurt when it is within their power to fix it.

Truthfully, I can't say that either of us as good as Mom or our Queen Nanny, but selfishness…egotism…sheer ignorance of the feelings of others is literally foreign to us.

Yes, Friends go a notch down.

Wants get shifted to the side.

Life gets rearranged, because family comes first.

In the world we grew up in, family is not disposable.

You only get one.

If you ruin your relationship with them, you don't get another one.

My nanny and my mother have kept their family together in the midst of heartbreak, turmoil, suffering, and pain by keeping the important things first.

And I realize now how lucky I have been to have been taught these amazing principles.

And in 30 years when my children are grown, I hope that they too understand the importance of family.

That they too understand that the feelings of people around them are important.

That they understand that selfishness has no place in family or friendships.

That Jesus comes first…

And family comes next….

Because when the dust settles, those are the only ones you can really count on.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

well said.....
& i totally agree....
my saying is i grew up in a dysfunctional family...but i LOVE them just the same!! thru thick & thin drama & trials, gains & losses... we know we are there for each other....
cant live with them cant live without them.....

alarta spax said...

Family Firstbelieves life is precious and is committed to healing, caring for and saving lives wherever possible - particularly the dignity and value of older people.