It took a long time, but I finally realize my parents were so much more than I ever gave them credit for. Mom and Dad, you were grace under fire.
Mom and Dad weren’t “War of the Roses” but they were far, oh so far, from what you would call an amicable divorce. I try not to remember much from that little micro-burst of my life, but I do remember the fights, the papers (divorce papers that is), the ‘possessions’, the endless ramblings of an intoxicated woman who was never happy with what life gave her. I remember more than I want and probably more than I should. I remember being Dad’s shoulder to cry on when I did not have a shoulder. I remember being the kid from Oildale (redneck central) now going to Thompson Jr. High School (Posh Central) and then becoming the laugh of the school when I dressed in plaid because my favorite singing group, The Bay City Rollers, were all I had.
I made it through…. somehow…. don’t we all? So when I had kids I wondered, what would it be like when we had birthday parties and other get-togethers and both sets of grandparents (as in my Mom and my Dad and their spouses) were, for a few hours, put together in the same time and space.
I must say, now more than ever, Mom and Dad, you make me so proud! You did so good…. better than good…. IMPRESSIVE! I tip my ‘hat’ to you. I now know how awkward it must have felt. However neither of you, nor your spouses, let it show. You came in, greeted everyone, and greeted each other with R*E*S*P*E*C*T. And for the sake of my children, I am thankful for what role model you guys made. Also, no awkwardness. No stone cold, hateful looks. You see, you knew it wasn’t about *you*….. it was about your granddaughters. Whatever grudges, hurts or anger you may, or may not have harvested and buried (and I know for a fact Dad harvested none, like me, I make peace with the past, make peace with the Lord and as my therapist says, MOVE FORWARD, don’t look back). However, any past grudges? If you had them…. both Mom and Dad….. they did not show. I felt so at ease. Throwing a birthday party for a child is stressful enough…. you have a lot of things to do and have to make sure everything is operating OK. Having to worry about whether the anger in the room is going to cause some sort of explosion is one thing you don’t want to worry about. With my Mom and Dad, I just knew it would not be.
My Mom was put down so much it skewed my vision of her. But she was a trooper. She had a good heart and really tried. She is the one who bought the girls the first four Harry Potter books. When I flew home to jointly, with my brother and sister (step, but we dropped that pesky word, for we bonded in a way the next five days that only could be understood by someone who witnessed what we did) make arrangements, I found pictures of my granddaughter, her great-granddaughter. I also found a grad picture of my youngest daughter along with the announcement, framed. She loved her girls but was always kept at arms length. That was in part my fault and something I will regret for the rest of my life. No one should let one side of the family get favored over another. It is not right; it is not fair and just plain cruel.
Mom & Dad, grandchildren come first and you both were mature enough and loved your granddaughters enough to know that! God, please send this note of thanks to my parents: “I know when you go through a bad divorce it is not easy to be cordial, but you surpassed that! Gracious me, I am so so so so proud of you guys. It is stepping outside of your own feelings and pride and doing what is right for the kids. Screw feelings of the grown ups. You swallowed your pride for a few hours 4 or so times a year so your granddaughters could see that *they* were loved enough to come first. For that matter, as Uncle David says over and over and over and over……. “The past is the past…. just move on!”. Either way, Mom, Dad, I am so VERY proud of how you handled yourselves at get togethers/parties, etc. Others could learn from you both! You did your daughter proud and a special shout out to Dad on this 4th of July; Happy 4th Dad! This was ‘our’ holiday and you made them so very special!”
No one says you have to be BFF’s…. but my kids never questioned the awkwardness between the parents; Why? THERE WAS NONE! GO DAD, GO MOM! I think instead of listening to others about how my parents were, I am going to start listening to my heart. As for this, they did it right, right and REALLY RIGHT!
Today’s song of the day is….
“Life is very short and there’s no time for fussing and fighting my friend….” You got it……