Monday, April 16, 2007

Gimme a 'G'


Thank you all for your insights on my loyalty post. I am amazed at how often I revert back to my old "middle kid" habits of protecting others and making peace in the group. A year or so after my parents divorced and both remarried, my stepmother and I were having a conversation about "how things were going" and I started to cry. I remember telling her that it hurt me so much to know that my parents hated each other and disagreed about everything. I felt as though that would always be true and that there were permanent cracks in my foundation. My fondest wish, I told her, was that we could all find an enormous house, a big colonial-style white house with black shutters and a black door with a brass knocker. Big enough to have separate wings for each family group. Large enough for all of the kids to run around and play together, inside and outside. I was tired of traveling from Oregon to Wyoming several times a year. I didn't want to have to talk to my stepmother about important stuff when I knew it was my mom who wanted to be there. I didn't want to only show my mom how hard I could kick the soccer ball when it was my dad I was trying to impress. I wanted to be able to walk down the corridor instead of asking to make a long distance phone call. I wanted my family to come back together - if not emotionally and spiritually, at least physically. I wanted them under one roof.
I woke up this morning with an overwhelming feeling of gratitude. After ruminating all weekend on the question of loyalty and filling up my well of emotional strength, this is what I came to. I am grateful that I am in a position to care for someone who needs me. I am grateful that this person is in a position to accept my help. I am grateful for the support I have from family and friends. I am grateful that I have lived the life I have and experienced both joy and pain so that I can offer love and compassion. I am grateful that I will have some time to spend with my father, whom I always saw as invincible and untouchable, in a vulnerable state. I know that there will be difficult times as he undergoes surgery and recovers, for both of us, but I am grateful that I can be there to experience it all with him. I know this will give me even more compassion and will teach my children that sometimes we need to move toward things that we fear in order to grow.

9 comments:

Carrie Wilson Link said...

That's the secret formula to happiness and peace: 2 parts gratitude, 1 part love. Period. (Totally stole that from Jennifer.)

Suzy said...

I am grateful that you write and share this.

Scott from Oregon said...

My overwhelming emotion at my parent's divorce was of shame. I had such immense pride in both of them when I was small. They both shattered that illusion pretty easily and it took me a long time (well, three years or so) to come to terms with their fragility and imperfections.

Deb said...

I am grateful to you for the reminder about gratitude, and in awe of your strength.

Jenny Rough said...

I love the idea of a huge house where everyone you love lives :-)

Eileen said...

It is funny how we automatically fall into our old roles from childhood, the old tape start rolling in our head. However, you took the high road, listened to your true self, looked at the lessons learned, positives that came out of it and what future positives and lessons are to come. Grattitude and love are so powerful and healing. What a wonderful message to your children and what a wonderful sense of inner peace for you. Many blessings.

Mother Jones RN said...

Great post. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

MJ

Kim said...

What an absolutely beautiful post. As Suzy said, I am grateful to be able to experience this revelation with you, and will work to apply it to my own life as well.

Your father--like everyone else in your life--is very lucky to have you on his side.

Jess said...

Wow, sounds like you figured it out pretty well! Can't think of a better way to look at all this. These people are all very lucky to have you in their lives. Yep, gratitude and love pretty much covers it all.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...