Thursday, November 13, 2008

A Post To Ponder...

Yesterday I went into town to the hospital's Breast Center to get my mammies slammed. Always a fun trip for any of us, but that's not what this post is about. While waiting for my turn on the mashing machine I picked up a magazine that I hadn't read (the one with a picture of Palin with a gun slung over her shoulder on the cover) and was flipping through, scanning the articles.

Then one caught my eye, so much so that I read it over again. The author, a woman, was writing about being a member of a grudge holding family. So much so that after a particularly bad argument with her mother over the phone, she and her parents did not speak for 12 years. 12 YEARS!

She would receive a Christmas card, signed with their last names every Christmas, but other than that, no communication. One day she received a note from her father with, as she called it, three magic words... "I'm so sorry."

She said they began to write letters back and forth in which she found out from her father that her mother had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's. Soon she and her husband drove six hours to visit her parents and she asked her husband what she could say after a 12 year separation. He said "How about hello? Ask them what they've been doing."

Her father set a turkey loaf on the table and they sat together for a meal, the first in 12 years, and it was the first to come for several years before her mom died. She had a chance that first year to take walks with her mother and talk about old times before the Alzheimer's took first her mother's mind, then her life.

That is what this post is about... lost time due to holding grudges. While she was fortunate enough to reconnect with her mother and her father, how awful it would have been if her father had not written those three 'magic' words and her mother had died with the grudge still being held. I have sibs that hold grudges, not to the point of not talking if we are at a family get-together, but it makes me sad that they cannot just let go and let it be.

And since I'm into keeping it real, I held a grudge against my sister for years and did not go out of my way to talk with her or to just drive out to see her when we were younger. When our mom became senile and didn't know us kids, I started thinking how much it hurt not to be able to communicate with her or anyone I loved and I decided during that time it took too much from me, physically and emotionally to carry a grudge. It just got to heavy to bear.

Since then, I've made the trip to see my sister, I've called her and we visit and talk about all the times we missed due to my stubbornness (my words, not hers) and my anger (again, my words). I feel better and lighter around her now. We can laugh and we can cry together. We can be sisters as sisters should be, relaxed and at ease with each other.

So if you have the "grudge family history" think about it. Is it worth the weight of carrying it around? Is it, like mine was, a defense mechanism to keep from being hurt by words or actions of someone else? And do you want it to be an example to your kids as how to act towards problems with other people, to carry that anger and pain around?

Just think about it. Her words sure struck me and I don't like the years that I lost, but I felt I needed to share my story with you. If this touches a nerve in you, you might want to just say, "Enough.". I'll get off my soap box. Getting my poor little mosquito bites slammed just made me pensive, I guess.

Next post I'll be all sweetness and light, maybe even funny.

I promise.


Wonderful World of Weiners said...

Don't feel that you need to always to be sweet and light....I like this side of you.


Twisted Fencepost said...

When I was younger I was bad to hold a grudge. Not so much anymore.
All I have left is a brother, who is disabled and lives with me.
Other family members have hurt me over the years without apologizing. I don't hold a grudge anymore. I just don't speak to them. Some things are just better left alone.

Reddirt Woman said...

I don't mean for myself or anyone else to to put themselves out there to be a whipping post for family or anyone else. I am only talking about how I learned to handle and let go of my grudge. If the other people aren't willing to let it go, that is their problem, just don't leave yourself open to it. I just didn't want it to control my life or emotions anymore, and this is what worked for me. I just felt moved strongly enough about the article to share my feelings with you all.

Laura ~Peach~ said...

My hubby and his family sure do hold grudges... I cant be bothered... maybe for a day or two but thats it...
Years ago my husband refused to speak to his mom for over 6 months because of something she and his sister did to me... I finally convinced him he needed to talk to her... things were better for the rest of her life but I am so grateful he listened to me on that one.
wonderful post!

GingerJar said...

My husbands son did not speak to him for 8 years. The son got mad because my husband would not allow him to take a car to NC (that he had co-signed for) before the son made even the first payment, when the son was MOVING without a JOB and planning on taking his INFANT daughter away from his WIFE. Long story...but anyway...he thought what his son was doing was wrong. The son did move, did take the daughter and eventually got custody of her. My husband was in a horrible accident and nearly died...his son joined the army and went to Afaganistan... , but finally I located him after my husband and I got married 2 years ago, and a year ago, after many letters and cards, his son finally called him...and now they talk every week and we are in contact with the grandkids.

Sometimes someone has to extend the olive branch. It isn't always a matter of who is right or wrong.