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Friday, July 15, 2016

Unique in our own dysfunction . . .

. . . the more I am welcomed into other people's lives and their families, into other countries and places I thought I would never be, the more I realize every family, every friendship, every workplace and every group is dysfunctional in some way. Because each of us is, in our own way.

So, yes, I'm weird and so are my friends, but I suspect everyone might be also, and that is fine within limits to the weirdness and dysfunctionality.

This weekend, as my sisters (who are braver than me) prepare to join our father's latest and last family and farewell the old bastard in traditional Tongan style. I realize that, yes, we are weird, but all families are. We are a little damaged, but everyone is. Some more than others.

Our first response of hearing of our Da's death was to contact each other, to ask "how are you feeling, are you ok?" Even those of us who don't really understand each other and don't communicate often did that and, for me, the instinct was also to check on the new family. I had consciously avoided them - why would I want to know the replacements in my father's life?

It was one of the current family who informed me, and he was gentle and respectful. My sisters, who know him well, say he is wonderful. I'd like to get to know the family. There's no need for me to be jealous any more - maybe I can just meet these half-siblings and tell stories and learn what we have in common. And what we don't - that's what family is.


  1. Google-stalked old workmates as I am apt to do every six months or so to compare my successes or failures with theirs, though that's less often these days now I have finally found some semblance of happiness.

    We were not great friends when we worked on the Jakarta Globe and you probably don't even remember me but perhaps we would be if we bumped into each other almost a decade on. How life quickens as we get slower and regret more readily.

    Will read through the rest of your blog over the next few days. Sorry you have lost your father. I lost mine a few years' back. It looks like you are otherwise doing well.

    Perhaps I should have appreciated your life experience and wisdom more, perhaps you could have been the stern mentor I needed. But the quicker we regret the faster and more mercifully regret passes, aye my fellow Kiwi?


    1. I'm wondering if that is young Greg?

      My wisdom was seriously lacking while in Jakarta so you didn't miss much - I'm a completely different person when I'm not happy, and I wasn't happy there.

  2. We were both unhappy I think. I wasn't happy there either, and that led me to lose out on opportunities. Oh well. Neat blog, keep writing. Bookmarked.