“What family doesn’t have its ups and downs?” – Eleanor of Aquitaine, “The Lion In Winter” (1968)


We are in the midst of dealing with our respective families. It’s difficult and challenging. We love them all, but brokering these situations often leaves us in “loud conversation” with each other. Which is not fair. It isn’t even our drama.

Dublin, September 1990

We don’t have Mom and Dad, Gramps or Gramma, Uncles or Aunts to consult for help. We’re it!

I look at the old photos of my family from long, long ago. I wonder how they dealt with these things. They look so young and carefree. I know things were not always easy for them as my brothers and I grew up. I still recall “loud conversations” between Mom and Dad.

1990 in Ireland
1990 in Ireland

I used to wonder why they didn’t resolve things easily, like they did on those family TV shows that were forever playing while we were growing up? You know, where father definitely knew best and Ozzie was always home to deal with the family crises. I once even asked my Mom why our house wasn’t like Donna Reed’s home. You can guess how she answered me.

Why didn’t the clock stop for Marilyn and me when we were younger and healthier with some of those beloved family members still around to help us deal with stuff.

Silly and naïve, I know. We’re the “old people” now. Family begins with us. It’s disconcerting.

Author: Garry Armstrong

As a reporter for Channel 7 in Boston for 31 years, I was witness to most of the major events affecting the region. I met a lot of people ... politicians, actors, moguls, criminals and many regular folks caught up in extraordinary situations. Sometimes, I write about the people I've met and places I've been. Sometimes, I write about life, my family, my dogs and me. Or what might otherwise be called Life.


  1. That first photo is gorgeous! 🙂 You both look in your ‘prime’!

    Nobody really prepares us for the role we get to play as Senior Members of the clan – least of all TV and Hollywood! We all have to play it by ear and try to remember that Patience is one of the best and most difficult to master of virtues. 😉

    If it’s any consolation at least you can resign yourself to the knowledge that your kids will have to take that responsibility themselves one day! That’ll learn ’em. 🙂


    Liked by 2 people

    1. lwbut, we WERE in our prime and had the time of our lives!! No regrets on that Irish honeymoon.

      It’s our version of “We’ll always have Paris”.

      As for “today”, as our esteemed Patriots’ Football coach says, “It is what it is”.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You understand the “bluff” Garry. Now it’s our turn to put on the “Bluff”. Don’t say much and smile to yourself a lot. They will ascribe wisdom to us that no one really has.

    Liked by 2 people

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