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Embracing the Rattling Cage

by Danny Thomas March 19, 2013

By Danny Thomas


It’s St. Patrick’s Day…
We keep trying to make family traditions
for St. Patrick’s Day,
none of them stick.

In my head
it was always
a big deal with my family
growing up.

We certainly always
ate a special meal.
If not corned beef and cabbage,
then something related.

Sometimes we went to see a film
an irish film
at some art house theatre.
My mom loves foreign films.
And art films.
We went to a lot of independent films
at art house theatres
when I was growing up.

It sometimes depresses me
when our holidays
do not jive with
the holidays I remember growing up.
It happens,
with Thanksgiving
and Halloween
and St Patricks Day…

I think…
I just need to give it time…
let the traditions develop…
let the family grow…
and create relationships…
with each other…
and with other families…
and those traditions will take
and grow…

I think
it takes work,
and decisive thinking,
and collaboration,
on the part of the family,
to create the traditions.
It takes some effort.
And right now
that effort
is aimed at other things in our lives.

But there is time…

I keep coming back to this idea,
to this notion
of the difference
how we imagine things to be…
how we hope for them to be…
and the reality that they become.
This thought; that we have an ideal
or an expectation,
and sometimes the world matches it
if we’re lucky,
exceeds it…

but sometimes,
more often,
the world falls drastically short of our expectation.

Does it fall short,
or is it just different
than what we expected?

And wouldn’t it be worse,
to get everything you expect,
and know every bump down the road,
than rolling with
the ups and downs?

As much as it seems nice to have everything in place all the time,
the dreary monotony,
I imagine,
would be relentless.

I am more inclined
to find a way
to embrace
my rattling cage.

My dad’s birthday is on Thursday.
it’s the first one
since he died.

The thing that
makes me most sad
is not that he doesn’t
get to have another birthday
(he was tired of them 10 years ago)
or even that I don’t get to wish him another happy birthday.
The thing that makes me saddest
is thinking about my mom
who, by default of her partnership,
and the traditions built in around
that partnership,
has had something to do
on March 21st
for the last 50 years
and now
this year…

I wish we could be together this

I wish my brother could be there too…
All of us.

But this is another one of those bumps in the road.
This is one of those ways things are different than we expect…
or want…
this is one of the ways things change.
And embracing change
I guess
means embracing
the stuff that
troubles us
with the same
open arms
that we
the stuff
that brings us

The post Embracing the Rattling Cage appeared first on The Next Family.

Danny Thomas
Danny Thomas


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