I had an interesting Sunday. We went to my sister Sherri's house for a party for my nieces' birthdays. I can't remember the last time I was at her house for a visit. If you are new here, Sherri and I are not close. We live very different lives. She has her reality and I have mine.
I do my best to stay in touch with my nieces and nephew, sometimes that can be extremely hard.
I was prompted to go. So I sucked up all my feelings and went.
Our first stop was to pick up my mom. She and I have been getting along for the most part. I try not to take things too personally and be more excepting of her "quirks".
While we were there I noticed her family tree book. She has been working on it and I am fascinated by "Where did I come from?"
It is nice to see faces the the names, and hear the names of people I hadn't heard of before.
It makes me feel "connected", like I belong somehow...
Does that make sense?
This is my Mom. I try to take a picture of her or with her whenever I see her. I want my kids to see and know these faces...who they came from...where they belong...
My relationship with my dad is not good. He walked away from our lives 5 years ago, until this past January. We ran into him. It was odd that day, for me. He is still the same person, I am different.
My life was changed, my heart
has changed is changing. God is doing things in me that I don't even realize until I'm in the middle of something and it hits me. Like Sunday.
My dad and his wife showed up at the party. I had avoided going to things I knew he would be at. It was painful to see someone who walked away from you, yet still "ran in some of your circles."
I hugged him, he sat by me, asked me what I wanted for my birthday...
It starts the same, I told him what I always tell him.
It's not the truth, but in terms he can understand, in what he is offering to give...
there isn't anything he could buy, no amount of cash that I would want.
Instead I said "Nothing."
He got a look on his face, like I had slapped him. Refused. He can not be refused.
"Why don't we go to dinner or something." I said.
"Where?" he said cautiously. As if I'd say someplace fancy or expensive.
"I don't know." I said. He wasn't getting it.
It is not the WHERE to me, it's the TIME.
I am selfish that way, I want attention, time, quality time.
The conversation got sidelined.
It was time for him to begin bragging.
This still bothers me, how he has to be center of attention, boasting, bragging
I didn't miss this.
There isn't a thing you'd like to ask me? Your grand kids?
5 years Howie, and this is how you want to spend this precious time.
There is admit it. The time is precious to me.
I let 5 years go by...
But I didn't miss this.
My half brother was there too, and what ends up happening is they talk about "The Camping trip from hell."
I usually sit back and observe, because I was a baby. 18 months Mom says. 4 kids, 2 adults a dog and a bird all piled into a camper on the back of a pick-up truck. (not a trailer mind you or fancy thing they have nowadays.)
I have seen the family film strips.
I was watching it one time and you see this baby walking around, walking walking walking towards the lake...lake Superior...not one adult, not one teenager...no one is around this baby...oh then the dog comes in and oops down goes baby. Slowly baby gets up, get her balance and toddles right toward the lake again.
Who the hell is watching the baby?!?!
Oh, yeah the person filming is, but baby now looks like an ant, so they are not close enough to be safely watching baby.
I commented yesterday "I am lucky I survived this family!" They all laughed, my brother said "Yeah, we were trying to bump you off for more room!"
I joked back "Cause a BABY takes up so much space! Maybe the bird should have been left home too!"
ha ha ha.
Then Howie started talking about my first time flying.
How I asked what was this white bag? (for airsickness)
and How as soon as we left the gate I grabbed the bag and when Dad asked me if I was going to be sick my 12 year old self answered "Well, Dad you never know!"
How I would ask "What's that?!?" over every sound or noise.
I had never heard him talk about me like that?
How I was even then a "think-ahead-er"
Prepare. Prepare. Prepare.
It makes total sense to me now. I didn't just one day become this way...it was molded in me from birth. It's WHO I AM.
I asked Howie if he had started a family tree. I know he has a bible that was passed down...
When I got into bed last night I grieved.
I did not have a Dad. He is still alive and there is still time...
But it is unlikely that he will ever change.
It is not for me to have the kind of father every girl deserves.
So how content will I allow myself to be with that?
I didn't know my grandparents.
I decided my kids deserve to know theirs, even if that means they don't understand them. I will let them form their own opinions, so one day when they wonder where did I come from...they can at least know grandparents.
I am grateful that God is changing me, changing my heart to endure the pains of what I didn't have, so I can give my children something more.
I am grateful for whatever time I have with my parents, my family, those where I came from...
What are you grateful for this Tuesday?