I’m feeling a heavy weight of responsibility.
No matter how old I get there are still jobs for which I always count on my mom. One of those has been keeping the family stories and the family history. These are things I really want my kids to know, but it has always been easy to just ask my mom. It’s her job to remember where my grandfather was born or who did what during the war. It’s also been her job to keep in touch with the far flung relatives of my large extended family.
My mother is a formidable example to live up to. She knows as much, if not more, about my dad’s family as she does about her own. My mother-in-law keeps bringing bags of family photos when she visits that I barely have time to even look at.
Now she’s sick and, with kids of my own, I’m the mom. I will be the keeper of the family bible with it’s nearly century old record of birth notices and obituaries. I’m already the one keeping in touch with uncles and aunts and cousins, though not well, I fear. It’s a scary responsibility. I don’t want to be the one who drops the ball and looses touch, but I am a terrible phone correspondent. I am good with the Christmas card but hopeless with birthdays and, at this stage of my life, I simply can’t travel to visit the far flung relatives.
One of the reasons I haven’t been blogging is that I have been in England with my mom, taking her to see friends and family. Each one of those people, reinforced by my mother, made a point of impressing on me how much they wanted me to keep in touch. I want that too but it’s a daunting prospect. My mother is the true matriarch of the family she married into. Everyone looks to her for a sense of history and for a sense of belonging to that history. I don’t know how I’ll live up to that.