Lawson writes . . . sharing thoughts and memories

November 23, 2012

Breaking Home Ties

Filed under: Uncategorized — lawsonjolly @ 5:00 am

I am a student and collector of Norman Rockwell.  His paintings stir my soul.  He depicts life as I knew it in earlier years . . . and of things I can imagine and dream about.

My first introduction to Rockwell was as a young boy.  Rockwell’s Old Man of the Sea was in the living room of my grandparents.  I would see it and almost feel the salt air!  There are many of his paintings that I could describe and share with you my feelings.  In our previous home, we had Rockwell’s on the wall going up the stairs.  I could not climb those stairs without being confronted with so many stories that these paintings communicated to me.

If I have a favorite . . . and I do . . . it is Breaking Home Ties.  Why, I even have a Mother’s Day sermon based on it!

It depicts a father and son sitting on the running board of an old pickup truck.  They are at the train stop waiting for the train to arrive so that the son could board to leave for college.  There is so much in this  painting as you study it.  You see the young man in a new suit.  He is sitting erect, looking intently for the arrival of the train. He is holding a lunch that his mother has prepared for him, and his faithful dog is there . . . with a sad expression that his master is leaving home.

But why is this my favorite?  I believe it is because I see myself in many ways as that young man.  I was older than the young student-to-be, but I remember the excitement of catching a train to go away to school.  In other blogs I have shared the story . . . wanting to escape my life as I was living it . . . wanting to get a new start . . . and believing that distance from home would make the difference.  It had nothing to do with family relationships — more of a relationship with myself!

I recall boarding the train in Atlanta . . . headed for Texas, a thousand miles away.  It would take a couple of days . . . a train change in New Orleans . . . one in Houston . . . and finally arriving deep in the heart of Texas.

I could not label my journey as “breaking home ties,” because family would be missed and the relationships would not change.  But I did break some ties with old habits . . . individuals . . . and plans.  Oh, some relationships with long time friends would never be the same because of the distance between us, but those ties would never really be severed.

My reflection is that we can be separated from family or friends without breaking the relationships.  I don’t believe the young man in Rockwell’s painting really meant a break from home and family ties . . . only a separation in location!  And may it forever be that way in all our lives!

Family and friends are forever!  Such relationships are not based on how close we live to one another or how often we see one another . . . but based on something far more tangible than physical togetherness.  Love and appreciation are not measured in miles . . . but in the heart!



1 Comment »

  1. Isn’t it amazing that in today’s world separation from family is so much easier to deal with. My grandson in Afghanistan, my daughters in Maine, New Hampshire and London and my son in Hong Kong, and11 other grandchildren scattered among three different states! Yes, we miss them but we can talk to them every day on the telephone, by e-mail and on Facebook. Just to be able to be in touch so often and hear their voices and see pictiures of what they are doing and where they are…..makes the distance and the heartache tolerable….Elaine

    Comment by elaine quinlan — November 23, 2012 @ 7:52 am | Reply

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