In about an hour, my mom’s plane will land at the airport. I’ll load up my little ones, who have been standing at the window all morning, calling her name. For the next week, we’ll celebrate birthdays, hike in the canyon, eat good food, and make memories. It will be wonderful. And yet–
I know that over the course of the next week I will be annoyed at how she wants just the right kind of yogurt. My daughter’s intensity will wear on her. I’ll get stressed out over wrapping the presents and stuffing the pinata and snap at her, and she might cry. If we really have time to talk, I might talk about how I’m jealous of her relationship with my sister, and she might say she feels like I’m pulling away from her. And everyone in the house (except my husband) will be annoyed by the constant sounds of baseball and football emanating from every television in the house.
What I’m saying is that no matter what, family relationships are complicated. And while we didn’t work toward a unified theme for our October 2013 issue of Segullah, all three of our pieces deal with the complexity of family relationships. In Darlene Young’s poem “Dying Hair,” she writes about hearing her mother’s voice raised in criticism, long after her mother’s early death. Sarah Dunster’s poem, “Skeletons,” also focuses on loss within a family, but this time it’s the loss of a marriage and the impact it has on both the speaker and her young daughter. In Tara Badstubner’s essay, “Paper Cranes,” the author’s young son presents his mother gifts and insights into his thoughts as they both deal with the effects of her chronic illness.
While the challenges that face your family may not look like those represented inSegullah this month, I believe that these pieces will deepen our readers’ understanding that complications and complexities are unavoidable, and should even be embraced as part of what makes family life rich, wonderful, and memorable for all of us.
Shelah Mastny Miner
“Dying Hair,” by Darlene Young
“Skeletons,” by Sarah Dunster
“Paper Cranes,” by Tara Badstubner