Tuesday, February 19, 2008


I am from a happy family. You knew that from yesterday's post. I know not everyone is and when I write about my parents and my childhood and my family I sometimes wonder if I sound a little smug. I hope not. I know I am lucky. Not entitled, just lucky.

I got an email from someone who reads my blog, with her own "I am from" poem. Her childhood wasn't so great. She said she would never publish it on her blog because her family reads it. She said, "I am from gamblers, cheaters and drunks." She said, "I would wonder about other people's stories all glowy and warm. Are they fooling themselves?"

I don't think I fool myself about my family, but I know full well that my "glowy, warm" childhood came, in part, from the not so warm childhood my mother lived. Mom could have said she, too, came from gamblers, cheats and drunks, though she had an extraordinary Grandmother and loving, but overworked mother. I know, and knew even as a child, that she was giving us the childhood she wished she had had. She was lucky that my Dad was nothing like her own father, and her children, were lucky too.

My emailer reminded me of my Mom when she said, "I do know that both my sons would write a story much more like yours than mine and I'm glad about that." My blog friend Dee's "I am from" post was another story of a good life built in spite of a painful childhood.

It felt good to think and write about where I came from and all the good memories life has given me, but reading my emailer's story, and Dee's, reminded me that where and what you came from is only the beginning of your story, or as Dee said, "it is more important where you land than where you take off from."


  1. hmmm...and because of where I'm from, I am determined to be better, happier and full of love, and not anger or hatred or self loathing. I shall pass on and share only joy. Thank you for the reminder!

  2. My life was pretty good, too, and like you, I think it was because my Mom and Dad wanted to have life better for us.

    I tried to build on that premise as a Mom and I know that my daughter is a fabulous Mom.

    It is so good to know that we can turn corners in our lives.

  3. I've had a somewhat similar experience online as well. And like you -- I know I'm lucky. I had/have fantastic parents and experiences both of them wanted to create because of their own less than stellar childhoods. And like you, I recognize my luck. Thanks for the reminder. :0)

  4. Anonymous5:05 AM

    I used to teach a college course on "what makes a person truly happy?" I was attempting to get graduating seniors to reflect a bit before going out into the real world of work and responsibility. We discussed the importance of attitude in life, how we perceive what we've been handed and how we turn the less-than-desirable into something which helps us to grow strong at the center. It came down to this: "Shall I bless or shall I curse?" The kids wrote really thoughtful papers; I am in awe of the resilience of the human spirit.