This might seem a bit off the wall, but go along with me here.
I don’t typically watch daytime television (but I listen to the news on the radio). This week I recalled recuperating from an injury a while back when I discovered Rosanne reruns – all afternoon every day.
That was not only a physically painful time, but as is typical, my sister Roan and I were in a turmoil together.
Watching Roseanne helped us laugh at our brand of crazy. We roared over Jackie and Roseanne’s interactions. We relate to that family.
Unlike Leave it to Beaver. Although we had our Eddie Haskells, my family was so not like the Cleavers. But Erin’s was.
So here we are, more decades later than I want to count, Erin comes home from working on Keira’s property – where her two brothers live as caregivers – steam rising from her collar. She was upset about her brothers’ input and critique about her work. Her takeaway statement for me;
“The whole time I was sweating in the yard, they were checking gravity, playing Wii in the garage!”
I confess, I’m a little ashamed at the level of comfort I got from the familiar scenario. But instantly I recalled the Rosanne episode where very drunk Jackie falls on her apartment floor. I had to bite the inside of my cheek to keep from laughing. Once aright Jackie said,
“Whoa, there’s gravity all over here!”
I also remembered Roan leaping over the back of the sofa and landing inelegantly between the couch and the coffee table. No help at all. Back then I was initially startled, then relieved the old girl wasn’t hurt, but then we laughed together saying,
“Forget gravity, we got inertia goin’ on here!”
Still biting my lip in the present I scanned my memories for something awful so I wouldn’t inappropriately laugh out loud at Erin.
I’m very familiar with sibling rivalry at its best – and sometimes worst. From my perspective I get it; Life is scary fleeting. As Keira, who had always appeared timeless, seems to be visibly aging right before our eyes, they’re all freaked out. The guys can’t understand the girls and aim their freak at them – and vice versa.
I also get how pointing out one other’s short-comings and mistakes comes easy. Searching beyond them can be tricky when we push love and respect to the back of the shelf.
There’s nothing funny about this past week. From my twisted family, in my mind today comparing the family of man and the horrors in Baton Rouge, Saint Paul, and now Dallas to Erin’s family is not that far a stretch. We’re all hurting, not sure what’s actually what, except that people died. Their lives are over.
Without a huge shove of love, this fearsome inertia will tear our family apart.
“Where do you think your fighting and endless conflict come from? Don’t you think that they originate in the constant pursuit of gratification that rages inside each of you like an uncontrolled militia?” James 4:1 (The Voice)