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It’s A Family Thing

November 20, 2021

I am sure that at least some of you have tired of my musical themed banterings. Four decades as a songwriter will do that to a person. But okay, excuses aside, let’s switch gears a little and talk about something we all have in common: mothers and fathers.

Over the years, I have heard hundreds of stories about parents from my friends. The commonality is that all of these fine people had strong memories, both good and bad, of their parents. I have never heard, “I don’t remember anything about them!” One friend told me that her father “didn’t die soon enough” so I figured she wasn’t a big fan of her father. More often, my friends have recounted that their parents were great people, great teachers but that perhaps they didn’t get to know their parents as individuals as they might have liked. One old friend even suggested that it should more correctly be “The mother, son and the holy ghost” as mothers are often remembered more fondly than fathers. I don’t really know.

My own mother was not a saint but rather a real person and one of the truest, most intelligent people I have ever known. My father was thought of as a saint by many but he did not parade himself about as such. Both of my parents invested heavily in their children in time, intellect, teaching and above all, love. Both were great parents, although my father often lamented that he had no training to be a father as his own father died seven months before his birth. I am one of the fortunate few who had to opportunity to know my parents as mother and father but also as unique individuals.

However, “we is not them” as they sometimes say in New York. And, thank God! If we were truly our parents’ equals, we would be trapped in a circle of life without an horizon. Sons? I am one and I have one. I would like to think that mine will take away something of me, the better parts perhaps. Chi sa? I hope so and I at least know that I took from my parents many good things that have sustained me well on my winding path through life.

It’s a family thing really, for all of us. I close by wishing you, your parents and your children the very best wherever you all are. One last thought from this old guy as his mind returns to musical themes once again and leaves you with another song line from the past: “teach your parents well….”



Read author Allen E. Rizzi’s latest books available at

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  1. Well said, Allen. I certainly learned much from my parents, but don’t think they learned anything from me. Maybe what methods of motivation or discipline worked… or didn’t? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Very nice pictures of your parents, by the way.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The parent thing is complicated. Both mine are still living (at 85), but my mother has severe dementia. My father is estranged by his choosing. I’m afraid I won’t be weeping much when they go. They did teach me some things well, but not loving. I think my father probably loved me, but I was the bane of my mother’s existence and she didn’t hide the fact. It was partly due to mental illness that runs in her family, though, and maybe some abuse.

    Well, you probably didn’t need to know all that. I think it’s wonderful that you had such good parents.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for being honest. I have an estranged relationship with my son (his choosing). It hurts but in the end I’ll never know what went wrong.

      Liked by 1 person

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