Saturday, November 24, 2018

Thanking Him For What My Family Taught Me

I've been thinking a lot lately about how much my family taught me. Oh, it wasn't a perfect family. In fact, I often think that ALL families are "dysfunctional" in one way or another. That family is the first place a baby, a child, learns to get along with others. That family is where we all learn our personal sense of ethics and values.

It would have been very easy for me to look at the negative and use it to my advantage, or to escape responsibility. I had a drunken daddy, and yes, we three kids were teased a lot about that in school. I was a sickly child and I could have allowed myself to feel sorry for myself. We were poor and even though our clothes were clean and pressed, often they were patched, but neatly so - and, yes, we were teased about that, too. Then, at age 11, I developed severe acne which lasted until I was 40 - 40! There was one incident where 2 fellows passing me said something to the effect that I shouldn't go out of the house without a bag over my face.

Still, I was taught from little up that words were something to be shrugged off as quickly as possible. I was taught to do right, no matter what the others around me were doing.

And I was taught a very strong work ethic. In Philly, we got working papers in our early teens. Almost every kid I knew had a part time job by the time they were 15 or 16.

I was also taught that I owed my boss a proper day's work for my pay. If I didn't like my arrangements, I should find something else. And even though the first few decades on jobs, I worked at jobs I truly hated, I had my dreams. And I worked at them, evenings and weekends, to hone my skills. But I always had my bread-and-butter jobs.

Without that background, without that sense of responsibility, I probably wouldn't have my little old mobile home today. And I wouldn't have spent my final decades in work I loved. I worked hard all my life. Nobody supported me - ever. And, yes, I am proud of that.

So, Sweet Lord Jesus, tonight I thank you, the Father, the Holy Spirit, for the family you sent me to, for their work ethic. I will always be grateful to them, always, for that... and more. And, thank you, Mom and Dad, and I wish I had told you all this when you were still alive!

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