January 20, 2019

Are We Our Brother’s Keepers—The Importance of Family Relationships

Reflections of Life As Seen Through the Poets' Eyes

Strange as it may seem to you I still remember it so clearly

She had soft flowing hair and sparkling eyes

And a smile so warm and glistening so sweet and tenderly

She was my Mother a warm precious woman who sang me beautiful lullabies.

Standing there beside her all smiles and expressing great joy

Was a handsome young man in his late 20’s who could not be any happier

As he looked at his family’s brand new Toy

And silently planned the youngster’s future life and career

As I lay there silently observing the two of them rejoice I could not help but wonder

Had the family that I was placed in been a very wise choice

While so far it seemed okay to me, I knew that only time would provide the answer

And then I heard these two persons say to each other “I love you” in a soft and caring voice.

Any doubts I had were gone and I relaxed and went to sleep waiting very excitingly

To see what the future held knowing that I was quite safe as my life’s journey began

Each day was filled with fun and felt heavenly as I learned to speak, walk and do other fun things

I laughed, played games as my father chased me as around the block as I ran                                                                                    

Now you may think that this is all nonsense and how could anyone remember such long ago things?

But it is really very true and there is even more

And as I go on looking back and so warmly remembering

What occurred in my life many many years ago.

I continued my journey, with siblings who joined along the way

Along with extended family and friends added

My life was enriched and each and every day

I felt so much rewarded

Then a marriage and children followed and I watched in joy with some astonishment

As I became the parent like my own Parents were, from my very start

It was a great time and memorable moment

One that touched my loving heart

As time went on I suddenly found that the ones I had most loved and adored and who had taken such good care of me

Had aged and finally been take away

And all I had was a wonderful memory

If I have gotten one message from my life’s interesting journey

It is to always be trusting, faithful and do good things and never stop looking

into the eyes of all your loved ones, as you keep saying in words expressed tenderly

“I love you, I love you and I always will” as you continue to enjoy relationships so fulfilling

Bernie Otis

While writing my new Book I had an awakening of sorts and began to write Poetry. The one which appears at the start of this Blog gave me great joy and inspired this Blog.

As we  travel the journey of life we often are confronted by major obstacles to happiness and joy. None are more pain full then the breakup of family relationships. And when you look at the reasons for such breakups we discover that they are over petty issues such as money, religious, marriage and sexual differences

The very first question asked in the Bible is in response to God’s asking: “Where is your brother’ to which Cain responds  “….Am I my brother’s keeper?”

The answer to this question is “Yes’ we are our brother’s keeper and as we go through life this becomes more and more important. As I continue my community service each day I visit families which have been broken up, seniors living alone of or in assisted living centers, nursing homes and other facilities who are sad and lonely and lacking in family relationships for the reasons above stated.

Consider this: David (name changed for obvious reasons) is a very successful restaurant operator and close friend. One night before my beloved Anna passed away we were having dinner in one of David’s restaurant and David came to our table and sat down. Because I knew him and his family quite well I asked him how his older daughter, a 19 year old pretty young lady who had often worked in the restaurant, was.

He told us that he had no relationship with her and that she was moving to another State to live with her cousin. I was quite surprised and asked him why. He told us that she was not married and had become pregnant and he and his wife wanted her out of their home, because that was an affront to their religious beliefs.

I was shocked by his answer and told him that he need to go home, put his arms around her and squeeze her with love——That she needed him now more than ever. After finishing dinner we left.

Several weeks later Anna’s illness worsened and I did not see David for close to two years, following Anna’s death.

When I did see him I asked him how his daughter was doing living with her cousin. He smiled and said “I owe you a dinner. After you berated me when we last met I went home and my wife and I followed your suggestion. My daughter did not move. She and the bay are living as a family and we could not be happier.

My dear readers if you have a loved one living sad and alone due to aging problems, family differences etc. etc. take a step back and pause in your life and think about what you can do to reunite with that loved one so that all involved can reintroduce Fun into your lives as the Book slowly closes on your life. Family Relationships matter more than you realize.

Bernie Otis is a well known Speaker, Author & Writer. His new Best Seller “How to Prepare for Old Age — Without Taking the Fun Out of Life”. Amazon and B&N