Family

Truism Twenty-Eight:  Your ghosts will haunt you.

Likely, you will have three kinds of family in your lifetime, rather like Dickens’ three ghosts.

Your historic family is your ghost from days past.  That family you were born into knows who you were the best, though they often do not know who you have become.  Like a candle burning but at an instant can be extinguished, your birth family will not be with you always.  Your parents and grandparents will probably die before you and before you realize all of the questions you have of them.  Your siblings will carry off their knowledge they have of you to the people they become.  Your imprint upon them will be as lasting as theirs on you.  Unlike the friends you will choose for your dance, your family is determined by the melody of the universe.  They will be imperfect, just as you are.

Probably, you will marry, although with the shrinking number of people who choose this lifestyle, the odds are less than they used to be.  That commitment you make with another will carry the weight of that person’s family.  Your in-laws may greet you magnanimously with the heartiness of Dickens’ middle ghost.  But, the family will hide part of their truth beneath their robe.  Or, they may be more spare in their acceptance of you.  Either generous or spare, it will be up to you to get to know them.  As you do, you will gain knowledge of the person you have chosen to be with for a lifetime.

Your final family will issue from you in some way.  Having them will tell you something of your fate.  You will die.  Whatever afterlife there may or may not be, one afterlife is assured.  The thing that is you will make the people your children will become, just as your historic family created you.  Bring them up wisely.  Make sure they are ready for what life has to offer them.  They may hate you for the moment when you lay your guiding hand upon them.  Try to guide them well so they do not hate you later.  Later, what they become is what you are.