I have a great deal of respect... for my father now after reading the letter he wrote my mother.  He obviously possessed a deep-rooted need to say these things to her, but of course, couldn't verbalize it.  I finally see that all these years, my mother spoke from the point of view of somebody who really didn't understand--from somebody who really did come from a place where the grass was much greener and much more fuller. 

He said he didn't blame his parents for anything that happened to him that was bad.  I thought this was very noble in the fact that he attributed all the family's idiosyncracies to the fact that they were young.  He didn't blame them.  He had come to terms with what went wrong, but all that had been wrong was continually uprooted by my mother in her seemingly never-ending quest to prove a point when she figured she was on to something. 

It almost disheartened me to read the letter because it presented a side of my dad that I had never seen before, but had always wanted to see.  He had been portrayed almost as a bad father, yet this was not the case.  In the end, I just wish he spoke to us more. 

I knew something was up though.  I always felt bad myself when my mother would bring up nuances about my dad's past as if it was wise or productive for her to do so.  My dad remarked that he never felt so low.  That, I fully understood.  But, the most poignant thing, however, was that he said he never talked about my mom's family.  It was the truth.  He acknowledged that no family was perfect, but either way he never spoke about my mom's family in such a poor light as she had talked about his.  I thought it was the cleverest way to say that she wasn't being fair.  That was the truth;  she wasn't being fair in that respect.

He also mentioned that he learned a long time ago to not open himself up to her to say some of the things that he said in the letter.  Why?  Because she would throw it back in his face.  And sadly, throughout the years, I've learned to not tell my mother anything that I thought she could use as ammo against me later when trying to fuel one of her tirades that sought to explain why I was such a flawed person.  It only takes one episode of having your thoughts thrown back at you in such a harsh way to learn to never open up to somebody again. 

In the end, I can't make out my parents to be perfect.  Nobody is.  But, it's the choices we make that determine what happens.  My dad's choice to write that letter and my mom's choice to show it to me have me believing differently in each of them now.  I guess I can finally see them for what they are and not what each of them made the other out to be. 


Post a Comment

<< Home