The death of someone close to you is always a good time to reflect and re-assess one's own life. I also found a couple of comments from center-left folks on this site when I came home last night. They're both complaints, so I must be doing something right.
There's always plenty to comment upon on the Internet. Between a dozen or so "news" sites, fifty or more blogs, and a few message boards, I could generate a dozen or so articles a day, IF I had the time and energy. Both of the latter are in short supply. Articles, therefore, will be limited to those I consider truly important, not only to me but also to my friends and family.
I grew up with family all around me. My grandparents lived next door. I had uncles, cousins, and more distant relatives living next door, across the street, down the road in each direction, and elsewhere in the same general area. "Family get-togethers" meant when the out-of-town relatives came, not just my aunt from across the street dropping in for a visit, or the cousin from three houses down coming to borrow some eggs. My family today is spread out all across the United States, and family get-togethers are less frequent. They've also become more important, at least to me. My mother-in-law's funeral was the first time I'd met my nephew's wife and children, including their 18-year-old daughter who will start college in the fall. My wife and I will be going to my family's annual reunion this September, for only the second time in 21 years. I'm hoping to meet an aunt and first-cousin I haven't seen in 40 years.
Duty came first for me during my Air Force career; family was a close second, not by my choice, but by military demands. Once I retired, it was money that was always in short supply and limited our involvement in family affairs. We missed being involved in whole chapters of our family history. At the funeral, we learned that two of my nephews had become fathers in the last year, and a niece was six months pregnant. Another niece couldn't attend because she was in the hospital recovering from a caeserian, and had a new daughter. That was all my wife's side of the family. I have no idea what changes we'll discover at my family's upcoming reunion.
My family has a long and varied history in the United States, going back to the founding of the Ogleghorpe colony in Georgia. Few know that history, and there are still major gaps in the sequence. How can we pass on this history to our children, if we don't understand it ourselves? There's also the lack of roots. There isn't a "homestead" to draw family members back to. The major attraction at the moment is an uncle who has the time and energy to do everything that's necessary to bring us together. Before that, it was Grandma, who died in 1984 at the age of 85, plus several of her children who all lived in the same area. My parents' home has been sold, the home Grandma lived in has been sold, and only my uncle's house remains in family hands. The local cemetary is full of relatives, but it's not the dead that draw us together, it's the living.
I have a new "family", also - a family of close friends and associates on the Internet. I correspond with some of them frequently, others only occasionally. The frequency of "connecting" isn't as important as the ideas and beliefs that we share. Most of my Internet family hold strong religious beliefs, are conservative in their thinking, and love their homeland, whether it's the United States, Great Britain, Canada, Germany, or some other nation. They love freedom, as I do, and believe that any more government than the minimum necessary is too much.
If life weren't complicated enough, we're trying to get my wife seen by a neurologist. Our local PA thinks she needs to be tested for Multiple Sclerosis. Unfortunately, there are only two or three neurologists in Colorado Springs that take Tricare, and they're not taking any new patients.
My back disability payment was enough to cover our trip to Louisiana and to pay off all our outstanding loans except our home loan. We're not completely out of debt, but the expenses are greatly reduced! Now we need to start thinking about what we need to do to our home to make it livable for us for the next 30 or 40 years. My disabilities aren't going to get any better, and if my wife is diagnosed with MS, she's not going to be able to take care of both of us. We're spending a lot of time on our knees in prayer these days. While the answers are coming, they're in "God's time", not necessarily ours. And yes, we ARE sure that God answers prayer. There was no problem getting my Social Security disability approved, while other people wait months, even years. We received my back disability pay within five weeks of the judgment, which is practically unheard of. It came the same time we needed it for my mother-in-law's funeral. A half-dozen other things we've been praying about have been resolved. God answers prayer - not necessarily in the way we'd expect, but in His way, and in His time.
How will all this affect posting to my weblog? I have no idea. I know that I will post when and if I have time, energy, and a suitable subject. I may post several posts in a single day, and then go a week or more before posting again. If you read my weblog, just keep coming back. Sooner or later, I'll post another article. In the meantime, if you're the praying sort, I'd appreciate any prayers for my wife you might be willing to make.