Monday, July 16, 2012


by Maureen O. Betita

I’ve been thinking a lot about families lately. Once upon a time, families lived close to each other for generation after generation, knew most each other’s business (or thought they did) and were a bit bossy with each other. (Well, seems like most families have at least one person who attempts to be the boss…)

There is always a boss, a know-it-all, a whiner, a spoiled brat…to one extent of the other, depending on the number of relatives within any circle. Family dynamics, gotta love it!
What I find amusing, is how different families view other families. I have a cousin who lives in the same county as her siblings and parents. A few of the great niece/nephews have moved away, but the rest of them are still in that little county. Now, hearing that one of her distant cousins seldom sees her daughter, she immediately jumps to the conclusion that there is some tragedy or emotional trauma involved. A fight, a battle, a separation. Nope, the two just live in different states. But yeah, immediately it has to be dramatic. (She’s the dramatic child).

My family? We live scattered throughout California with one odd duck in Portland, Oregon. We see each other a few times a year, sometimes it’s a holiday, sometimes not. We e-mail here and there. Mom stays in touch with all of us.

We kids are taking a cruise together in September. We’ve done it before. Always manage just fine to get along, to do things apart and some things together, but we aren’t in lockstep. I tend to think most families probably spend too much time minding each other’s business. And that is seldom a good thing!

In SomethingDifferent, the Castillo family is a bit like my family. They care about each other, they want what is best for each other, but they don’t want to be too intrusive. They follow their mother’s last wishes and try to help their father find someone new. But none of them go with him to the arranged date. None of them were involved in the search for the woman Madam Eve found for him. They trust him to discover for himself if it’s going to work or not.
There is no one truth about families, though we can all hope at the heart of a family there is something that holds us together.
I do sorta wish mine had a string of resorts…
Maureen O. Betita

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  1. LOL I don't come from a family like the Castillo's. Great post!

  2. Well, aside from not owning a resort chain...I think mine is fairly close... Don't know what we did wrong that we don't have the resort...

  3. my family is very close actually. most of us have actually had to move back home for one reason or another. myself it was a physical injury that kept me from self-sufficiency,my sisters(2 of them) both went back to college after many years(the older was 35 at the time) and one is now graduated with a triple major in German and history studies and my other sister is in the Master's program for teaching. then my brother just moved his family here and i hope they will all love it too.
    at this point i live with my mom/1 sister and her daughter, but they have all rotated thru the house at one point or another.

    we have a tendency to believe that the way family is done here in America(generalizing here) are wrong. your parents loved you and protected you when you were young and if they didn't then someone did, an aunt or sister,grandparent or even as a ward of the state you may have connected to someone. it then becomes your duty to take care of that person when they need you. if they get sick, need to talk or when they are finally reading to go home to God(however you may see him).

    we Do not throw them away and forget about them until our conscience reminds us that they are waiting for a visit or a phone call or just any sign that some one still loves and cares about them. my mom and i both worked/volunteered in a nursing home in the past and it would just devastate them when they would get all dressed up and wait for hours upon hours for people that never came and never were going to come. i finally had to quit because i just couldn't take the quiet desperation in their eyes and the sense of hopelessness followed not long after by their deaths. these people were walking and talking history and humor, love and laughter, tears and loss. to be thrown away as so much used junk in the end is a disgrace to every child that does it and to this country that allows it.

    okay, sorry for the rant. the book looks wonderful and i would love a chance to read it.

    Tammy ramey

  4. Hey,'s cool. I know the way the old are 'disposed' of can be terrible, no matter where one lives.

    I'd like to think in this story I tell a sweet tale of the Castillo patriarch, with a loving family.


  5. I wish mine did, too! Hmmm ... which resort would I like the best? Can I send some of my family members to a few?