Thursday, August 09, 2007

Carlson kids: past & present.

Searching through some old photos recently, I came across this one:

(Left to Right): Carly, Eric, Dad, Ben and Me. Why is no one smiling?

It is the only time in Carlson family history that my Dad has been with all four of his kids at one time. This historic occurrence took place in December 1989 when the entire family gathered together to celebrate Grandma & Grandpa Carlson’s 50th wedding anniversary.

The four of us at Grandma & Grandpa's 50th!

My brother Eric, age 36, is single, lives in Saint Paul and works in construction. While he and I didn’t get along too well as kids, we have become pretty good friends over the past several years. In fact, he was best man in my wedding! We have also been able to commiserate over the difficult relationship (or lack thereof) we’ve had with our father. It wasn’t until recently where we realized how good we had it as a family unit when it was Mom, Eric and I all those years. We would certainly welcome Dad into our lives if he so chooses. For now, Dad is going with the silent treatment.

Half-Sister Carly, 34, finally found love! Since her early 20s, she’d had a slew of serious boyfriends. She then got to the point in her late 20s where if a guy called more than once per week, she felt he was getting too clingy. But she officially settled down in September 2005 when she married husband Matt. They now live near Santa Barbara, CA where Matt is stationed in the Marine Corps.

Half-Brother Ben, 31, is in the Fresno area I believe. He was a high school drop out at 16 and was kicked out of his mother’s house at 18. With nowhere to go, Ben joined the Marines in 1994, got married in ’98, divorced in ’99 and left the Marine Corps in 2000. For about five years he muddled through life working odd jobs down in Fresno. For the past couple years he has been in the firefighter training program. I spoke with him for the first time in 5 ½ years when he turned 30 about 13 months ago. What was scary was he sounded like my Dad in the way he talked, the things he said, etc. I know Dad has not heard from Ben since October last year. Of course, Dad may have finally tracked him down by wandering the streets of Fresno.


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