It’s sad to witness a family falling apart. On the Orange County Chopper TV show, with it’s stars Paul Teutul Sr. and Paul Jr., we have, like voyeurs, watched them fighting over business matters for the past three years. This new season shows the Teutuls making an attempt to heal the rift through building a bike together. I felt like cringing every time I’d hear the disrespect, from both sides, in the form of fiery comments to the camera, as if the camera crew were arbitrators in the on-going battle.
Last night, as Brenda and I sat with my dad for dinner, I asked him if he has good memories of his father. He said that he never really knew his dad and that, as far as he remembered, he wasn’t home very much. When he was home, my dad continued, it was to sleep-off a late-night drinking marathon. I feel bad for my father because he never had that opportunity to hang out with his pop like I have been blessed to do with mine.
After all is said and done, our families are the core of our lives. I couldn’t imagine a life without clear communication, love and trust between those in my family. So much of who I am is wrapped up in being a husband and a father. My greatest memories are of reading to my kids as we cozied up in their beds after bath time. If I made a mistake with a show of anger, I always tried to say I was sorry.
Tomorrow, Brenda and I will make an early morning trip to Murfreesboro where, in a local hospital, our first grand baby will be delivered by C-section. Pop will be with us, too. That will make four generations of Harvills in that hospital, when Josh and Amber’s Norah Charlotte finally arrives.
Brenda and I weren’t perfect parents. I especially lost my patience more than a couple of times, and in the heat of frustration, I most certainly said some regrettable things. But I am proud of the way Josh and Betsy have turned out, in spite of my failings. I see the way they treat their spouses with love and through servant-hood. I hope my love for their mother was an inspiration to them.
I pray the forth generation of Harvills carries on the legacy that my parents and Brenda’s parents started back before she and I were born. On both sides, there were broken marriages, but our parents were determined to change all that.
I feel for broken families. Its not too late to make a change, to take a u-turn and come together as families. I believe my wife, kids, grand kids and extended family are, next to God, everything.