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There are times in your life when events seem to conspire in such a way as to take you back to moments in your youth.  It was easy when we were kids to believe that we would handle a situation differently than our parents or that we would never do what our parents did.  It’s easy because when we are young we are ignorant.  We don’t have all of the relevant data, and even if we did we would not understand all of it.

Hindsight, as they say, is 20/20.

One of the parts of my youth that has been playing back through my head recently is our relationship with my maternal grandparents.  I have a lot of strangely vivid memories of them and their house. 

I remember their bulldog Basil who went after my sister when she was still very small.  I remember the fish tank that sat on the shelf between the dining and living rooms.  I remember the strange feel of the finished basement and the pool table down there.  I remember he piano and the odd divider in the master bedroom.  I remember the long narrow kitchen with the low counter table.  I remember the black, cast-iron door knocker in the shape of a disembodied hand holding a heavy ball.

I also remember that things were not always peaches-n-cream when we stayed with them.  I remember that my father and grandfather would often clash.  I was too young to really pick up on the reasons for this, but I knew it was there.  And, I know that at some point, whatever those issues were, they were pushed too far and we departed the house and my father never returned.  My mom would take us kids over when we visited the area sometimes.  Those visits were always vaguely awkward and uncomfortable.

I also remember the way things ended with my mother and her family.  How my grandfather and her siblings betrayed her when making decisions about my grandmother’s care.  I remember the pain they caused my mother.  For that, I will never forgive nor forget. 

I see much of my father in me lately.  I love my father.  And, I respect him more than any man in the world.  He is a great man, and he is an example to be emulated.  I find myself at a crossroads right now, and I don’t know which way to turn.  If I believed myself to be a man of even half the character of my father I would simply trust my instincts. 

But, I don’t believe that of myself.  I am flawed in ways he has never been and never will be.

And so I struggle with the issues swirling in my head and don’t know what to do.  I only hope, when I do start down a path it is one that I chose for the right reasons and not for expedience.

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One Comment

  1. You need to trust your instincts. Mistakes do not make someones judgements invalid they simply are hiccups in the path of life.


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