Sorry for all the oddities on my blog at the moment, I know there's some funny elements and missing links. I've just started this blog and I'm still working out the kinks, but it will all be fixed up ASAP. Cheers :)

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Sunday, January 2, 2011

Has Modernity cost us our Families?

Ignoring my incredibly bad hairline (I'm the 'home-grown' baldy), this photo is of me, my brother, and his family. I don't want to name anybody here because, well, thats not my decision to make, but these are some of the people I love, and I miss, more than I could ever put into words. 

So today I thought I'd write about family and what they're worth, which is everything! See, for me this is a bit of an admission of guilt. I moved interstate around 10yrs ago and this photo is from one of the rare rare visits I've made. I know a lot of you can probably relate, and I know there are lots of reasons we all have. Some of my reasons include working full-time, than studying full-time, being absolutely broke, medical issues, depression, the list goes on... But now I find myself looking back at these memories of my family and my beautiful nieces and nephews, while realising they're entering high-school now, and I haven't been there at all for them, and know little of the people they've become. My oldest niece is deaf, and now has her own place, and is travelling on holidays by herself. Her younger sister did the same thing and at one stage was working what I think was 3 jobs. I have a little nephew (the little guy in the photo on the second floor :p) who I barely know, and a niece who topped the STATE with her grades, and was presented a certificate at an official function, which I only found out about 1 whole year later. I even have a niece who's just recently given birth to a beautiful baby girl, I'm now a great-uncle! Honestly, it kills me to realise how much I've missed. I've always prided myself on being an Uncle (I've been an uncle since the day of my birth, lol), and because I grew up being an uncle, i'm also used to being a friend, and right now, in reality, I'm neither.

So I find myself asking if this problem is my own, or whether other people are also experiencing it, and of course in western society we're surrounded by other people and dis-jointed families in the same or similar situations. We send our elderly of to nursing homes, the amount of children for adoption grows, and yet we call ourselves 'modern' societies. Now, if we were to compare the family values of our 'modern' society, to that of most native societies, we see that their family values are so much greater than ours we can't even compare. Now i know this is the second blog where I've seemingly 'dissed' modernity or the western world, so let me be clear: I LOVE modernity, especially with the freedoms we're blessed with in Western societies, but it's not infallible, and it has many weaknesses; the one that I see is a real problem is the consumer/commercial way of the world destroying the family unit. I'm not religious, or socialist, or anything along those lines, I'm just an Uncle missing his family and looking at society helping him miss them.

On the other side of the family tree, we have my grandparents, both of whom are passed away now (and if you're reading this Nan & Pop, I love you both dearly). Now, my grandmother lived with us in her last years, but she had dementia. Because of this condition we had support from an aged care home service, who would come two or three times a week for a few hours to give my mother support and a chance to rest. For my Grandfather however, he had no major mental illness and thus did not qualify for this, and spent his last years isolated in a smaller community which he could afford to live in. A lot of it he did to himself with his grumpy attitude, but again, that came from his war-time experiences. Alas, despite us all being there for the very last few days in hospital, he spent his last few years alone. BUT, at least within Australia, there is a service for these people that you can either request assistance from, or maybe even help out? This service is called the "Community Visitors Scheme", I worked with them for a few months before I decided to go back to full-time study and it was the most rewarding experience ever, and the people were lovely. I simply visited one or two people once or twice a week, it was as simple as that, they were lovely people, and they loved my visits as for some of them I was the only person they'd see besides their doctor.If it wasn't for my depression on-top of full time study I would have continued, but they're always looking for people if you're living in Australia, and your interested? Just click on the link above...

To my family if thy're reading... Mum, Dad, Matthew, Robert, Lindon, Joanne, Terry, Robert & Sharon, I love you all so much and I hope you know that. Shane, Samantha, Terri-Anne, Renee, Dean, Sophie, Chantelle, Julian, Jet, and Isabella. please know I love you all more than you could ever realise. And of course my love to the rest of the clan as well.

Maybe this is a conversation we need to have though, does modern society support the holding together of a family? It feels like my blog is really becoming not only more of a personal journal, but also very pessimistic on modernity, I think I'll need to work on this, haha, but thanks for reading, and please lets discuss this: Are you happy with the way your family keep's in touch?