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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Getting Along

It has occurred to me in recent months that my original post "It begins with where you came from." is a rather tactful, "skirting the issue" way of indicating how families go their separate ways over time.  Within my own research which includes a little digging in old documents and listening to stories, it has become evident to me that people don't just get "busy, busy, busy".  I have acknowledged that family dynamics can and do change when people get married, thus expanding the family and inviting those in who may be different than the existing group.  A concept that I never quite understood until I actually experienced in my own adult life.

I recently had a cousin on my dad's side of the family ask me what happened.  His exact comment was something about a wedge between families.  In reality, it may not be that precise.  It could be more dynamics, changes, and personalities.  The rhetorical question does stand "Can't we all just get along?"  It's not that simple and sometimes I wish it was.  In a child's eyes, it can be.  Adult human nature and life stepping in, changes that for sure.

While I have tried to figure out what separated families within my various family lines, I come up with rather complex, sometimes lopsided answers.  For one, the complexity of a family dynamic seems to transcend all of my family lines and no one line is an exception.  In other words, for various reasons, people just did not want to be around each other as adults in some cases.  To simplify this, and some of it would to not be simple in the eyes of the people who lived it, I would say personalities and perspectives clash in human nature.  Just because you are related to someone does not mean a family is excluded from this occurrence.  How they handle these differences does matter but not everyone can be on their best behavior at all times.

To elaborate further, money, beliefs, religion, and other social settings can change things for families.  It takes two to have differences and sometimes we only hear one side of things.  I have yet to hear a very objective observation of any "family dynamics".  Each person does hold their own opinion, thus, making my research sometimes appear to be rather lopsided.  It lacks perspective of each of the involved parties.   Unfortunately, I am not able to gain each side of the story because these people are my ancestors.  I can only glean bits and pieces of a given family interaction.

From living individuals, I have gleaned some bits and pieces here and there.  I have an aunt who does try to give an objective perspective when talking about individuals who did not get along for whatever reason.

My final comment on this topic is to reiterate that the "differences" that people had that led to the proverbial or precise "wedge" is demonstrated across almost each and every one of my family lines.  To sum this up, none of them were alone in this experience as personal to them as each story may sound.    

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