“Family Matters”

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My parents John and Ethel Quigley instilled in me the notion that family matters.  Mom and Dad (affectionately called ‘Eth’ and ‘Vince’ by many) had seven children, six of whom married and had children of their own. Now those children are having children, one of whom is Max, my niece Kasey’s son pictured with me here.  I’ve gotten to spend a little time with Max recently and I like that.

Of the three of us who divorced two of us still have contact with our ex’s. For me that is Marty, Hank’s Dad, and for my sister Terry it’s Mike, the father of her two daughters.  It is not unusual for either one or both of them to still be seen at Quigley family gatherings.

Our mother died in 2005, and shortly thereafter Dad in 2006.  Their exits from this earth plane left a very large void in our family.  I have shared in previous blogs about my grief process being very intense, and we all of course had our own personal journeys with the loss.

I often see characteristics in myself and in my brothers and sisters that are common in some or all of us, or were in my parents.  But we are also seven different people who have had seven different life experiences. Some of us are more similar to each other, and so spend more time together.  But overall we have a wide variety of religious and spiritual beliefs, and politics is a topic that is safest for us to stay away from when we all get together.  When we all get together…

We all still get together.  For years we have all landed at my brother Mike’s house in Auburn for the fourth of July.  On Thanksgiving we take over my sister Peggy’s in Sempronious.   Even without Mom and Dad we all still get together.  If anyone can’t make it the door is always open for next year.  And under the organization of Terry and our cousin Jim we are having an extended family reunion in August.  No more “I only see you at wakes.”

Eth and Vince taught us about love.  We were raised with love and prayer. Our home wasn’t perfect, but there was always an undercurrent of love. Over the years there have been times when we seven have had challenges with one another but the love has never waned.  We would all be there for each other at the drop of a hat.  I know that and I treasure it. And being there doesn’t mean only for the scary things. Last fall I was in a show at the Merry-G0-Round and every last sister and brother was there, along with whomever of their spouses and children could come.  They have always come. They have always just bought their tickets and sat in those seats. It means the world to me.

The solidarity of my brothers and sisters gives me a feeling of security and being loved that I cherish.   There are those of us that I see only on the fourth of July and Thanksgiving but I am so grateful to know they are there.  

So thank you Michael, Terry, Patty, John, Chris and Peggy.  We are the Quigley kids.  I have a strong suspicion that Eth and Vince are proud.

 

 

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Debbie May 25, 2013 at 1:28 am

great blog Maureen. Our family is the same–we appreciate times we get together. My Mom loved those moments best. I am the only one who remained friends with my ex–it was never lack of love, just lack of effort on my part.

It is good that you and your sister have good relationships with your ex, too bad it did not happen more often.

Reply

Maureen Quigley May 25, 2013 at 1:41 am

Thanks Debbie and yes, I am very grateful that Hank has both of us strongly in his life! 🙂

Reply

Terry Quigley May 26, 2013 at 4:06 pm

We are blessed!

Reply

Maureen Quigley May 26, 2013 at 7:47 pm

We truly are Mar! xo

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