When we were growing up, Mom and Dad had us say The Lord's Prayer every night before bed. They said it together every night for 58.5 years. As a result, I watched my parents 'let bygones be bygones'. They showed us an amazing example of how to live, how to treat others, and how to be better people.
I have not been quite as faithful in saying The Lord's Prayer. I find that I get busy with everything that's going on, and I often don't take the time I should to be alone with my thoughts or to pray. That's one reason I find that I love painting, doing crafts or even laundry. It's really the only time I am alone with my thoughts.
Tonight, I was working in Hopper's room. The Hubster and I had gotten the baseboards cut over the weekend, and I wanted to work on installing them. I started in the closet, and while I was successful there, I didn't get much more accomplished as far as baseboards go, but I did get some shelves hung in the corner and painted. While I was working I had plenty of time to think.
I kept coming back to the mug I wrote about a couple of weeks ago. That and the quotation marks that have bothered me for years. Was I holding onto things that I needed to just let go?
The answer? Guilty as charged.
The thing is, I have no regrets about getting rid of the mug. The mug was a reminder of much more than just the quotation marks...
The Hubster was deployed when I received the mug with flowers in it for my birthday. He was gone for a total of 15 months. Hopper was only 3 months old when he left. It was an exceptionally scary and stressful time for me. I was dealing with my husband being on the other side of the world, with Hopper's health and her lack of development, and I was also dealing with my in-laws, who thought there was nothing wrong with her, and that I was making everything up.
It didn't matter that we'd had genetic testing done that showed the chromosomal abnormality. It didn't matter, that she was hospitalized several times due to dehydration. It didn't matter that she wasn't progressing normally. It didn't matter that we had to feed her with a syringe that had IV tubing attached and running along the side of our finger to allow milk to be dispensed when she sucked correctly. It was my fault. I was the one that was overreacting and babying her.
Yes. My in-laws made sure to tell my husband every chance they got while we were separated by thousands of miles. My father-in-law also made sure to mention it repeatedly to my parents when he'd run into them around town.
I could do no right in their eyes, and the mug is just a constant reminder of that, and I don't need to be reminded every single time I see it. It just makes me sad to think of that time in our relationship
It's been on my mind a lot lately, and I want to, to let (I need even) to let it go. It weighs me down in way too many ways, and I don't want to become bitter over it all. I fear I've wandered a bit too far down that road as it is.
Over the last few weeks, though, I've seen things in a totally different light...
Nobody ever knows how they're going to react in any given situation. People don't know how they'll grieve when they lose a loved one. They don't know how they'll handle themselves in a crisis situation, whether it be a diagnosis of cancer, a divorce or a car accident.
My in-laws were reacting to having a granddaughter with severe special needs, with developmental delays, with hearing loss in their own ways. Their way didn't include encouraging words to me, but it was the only way they could do it at the time.
I get that.
We do what we can to survive any crisis at the time. And if it means blaming someone else, that's what we do. Hopefully, at some point in the future we'll come to our senses and at the very least change our behavior and attitude, or better yet, we'll apologize for hurting another person with our actions.
In the meantime, I choose to move on, forgive, and try to forget (and getting rid of the mug in the meantime will help with that) the hurt. Just because someone doesn't accept me with all my faults and warts doesn't mean I can't accept them.
After all, a wise person once said, "As soon as I'm perfect, I'll expect you to be."
My husband is a wise, wise man.
Compulsive hoarding is a mental disorder that is just beginning to be understood. As a hoarder, I have acquired things over the years with a specific purpose in mind at the time of the acquisition, used some of those items for their intended purposes, forgotten the goal for different objects, but now that I find that they have outlived their purpose in my life I am struggling to rid myself of those same things.
You can read the start of my journey here.