Friday, March 13, 2015
It's not easy being the Patriarch of an extended family.
It's not a job you get elected to, either. You get there by being the oldest surviving male in your extended family.
Southerners are very clannish people. Maybe it comes from so many of them being Scotch Irish (or Scots Irish, if you are a Brit). Maybe it stems from Southern culture, which has not yet been eradicated by the government hive dwellers, despite their strenuous efforts to do so. The Old South still lives in the rural areas of the Southern U.S. It's a strongly patriarchal society.
What this means for me is that I get involved in family issues outside those pertaining to my own wife and kids. Just handling my own family doings would be challenging, but when you throw in my mother, my three siblings, and their numerous progeny it gets to weighing on a fellow sometimes.
Right now, we are dealing with my 87 year old mother, and the decisions that entails. It is shaking out that my sister (who is widowed and retired) is going to move to the town in Oregon where one of my brothers lives. Then my mom is going to live with my sister. But I have another brother who feels like I need to do more myself to take care of mom. I have offered to have her come live here with us, but she needs medical specialists that are five minutes away in the Oregon town and 3 hours away here. She doesn't like my town, because there are no fancy little botiques and no lattes, but in my brothers town, which is a college town, she can find all the stores and fancy cafes she wants.
I tell you though, if I could resign my position as oldest living male and let my middle brother run the show, he could have it and welcome to it.