Sittin On A Porch

Sittin On A Porch
Our little back porch

Friday, August 20, 2010

A rant about love

Yesterday I received so many wonderful gifts.  A day spent with Ms Moon while she helped me to get the things I have put off getting to feel pretty through this ordeal, like the makeup and the night gowns.  A haircut from the sweet Ms Paige that makes me look so good, not like a cancer survivor.  Lunch with the effervescent Ms May.  A call from My Vicki, a card and worry dolls from my god niece Annie.  And a comment from my oldest niece and her sweet family. 

Corie is the daughter of my middle brother Mark.  I am not close to this part of my family because of those things that happen in families.  Someone says something, maybe not in the nicest way, it hurts the other person's feelings.  But unlike a TV sitcom, no one ever sat down and worked out these individual sayings and they built up with some people and they became more hurt and sensitive.  No understanding or benefit of a doubt was given.  No sit down and talk it out was done, and no forgiveness was given.  And after years of this miscommunication, some of it over religious beliefs, there were letters sent and more hard feelings, and still no forgiveness or trying to understand that sometimes when a grandfather says something and the people who had their feelings hurt did not go and quietly try and work it out, then everyone ends up hurt.  I know it does get tiring to always have to be the one to forgive, to understand.  But the part of my family that ended up separated from us is not the most hurt by all of this.  Everyone is still hurt by all of these actions, these misunderstandings.  This foolishness.  Yes, foolishness.  I thought you were supposed to honor your parents.  Doesn't that mean, maybe giving them a break because they have more years experience on us, that they gave us life, that they loved us the best that they could, but that they are not perfect!?!?!  And I thought we were supposed to forgive people?  But I am talking not from my religion, but from theirs.  I do honor those believes, and I do try and understand and forgive.  And when the straw finally broke the camels back it was plain stupid.  And I stood up for them. But Mark, did not stand up for his family.  He came over the next day after my father had said something insensitive, but not what the person hurt heard, but the truth is relative to each person's own heart.  And when Mark did not stand up for his wife, then Dad told me that I was my typical over sensitive self and that there was no problem.  I can't even tell you how many years that has been.  So it was out of my hands.  I have tried, as my other two brothers have to defend and understand this madness, but when I found out I had cancer.  I decided it was more important to me to get healthy then to try and fix this unfixable family ordeal because the hurt feelings circle and swirl and sweep us all up and show our hurt and our worst but not much of our best.  And this letter sent so long ago, was so hateful and any version of the truth from my point of view was hidden deep in recesses of their victimization, hurt and desire to be right and all others to be wrong.  I couldn't agree with that.  And I actually did not read the letter, but threw it out.  Unfortunately others who received it kept asking me what do you think they are saying here.  And I could explain it to them, and they were amazed.  A TV sitcom filled with misunderstanding and misspoken words.  A family split.  A family that has continue to function without a piece of it.

And then my oldest niece puts a comment on my blog.  And her words are again insensitive to me.  But I have read it over and over and over until I can understand the love she was sending rather then the words she used.  She did not refer to me as a "who" but as a "what"  I know what she means now, but others who have read that were offended.  But I am not offended anymore.   I understand that she was saying that even though you do not have the same beliefs as I, I still love you and wish you well.  And then, knowing that I do not share her religious beliefs, she still had to put hers in.  This is my blog, not hers, and I do not wish to have her religion put on me.  But I don't think that was not her intent.  Maybe she was trying to share a piece of her children.  Children I do not know.  Children who do not send me thank you cards or birthday cards or emails or phone calls.  And so, maybe by another misunderstanding, when I did not hear from her or her brother when I sent gifts and cards, that maybe they didn't want to be a part of this.  So I stopped.  I do not wish to press myself on them.  But I don't know if this is what they meant or not, because there is no commumication.  I understand that their religion is a vital central part of their lives.  And I am proud of who they are, if they could only be a little considerate of me and my beliefs.  I thought that their Savior taught tolerance and forgiveness and love for everyone. I am not perfect, neither are they.  I am not even sure that any present I ever sent was worth even a smile.  I have no idea the size of the children, or their favorite color, or favorite food.  I don't get this information from their parents and not having been a parent of a human child I don't know these things.  And I have sent gift cards once, maybe they didn't get them.  I don't know I asked and never heard.  So, that is OK, I am only an aunt that does not live near them, and our lives are in such different places and when Cole and Corie were younger I tried to include them in my life, but my life then and now are so different.  Life is not stagnant and each stage of our life is different from the next.

I have never stopped loving that side of the family, but I have chosen to do away with the drama and the constant need to push their beliefs on me, judge me and I am tired of feeling inferior to them, instead of loving me as I am.  Oh, they say they do, but then why do they always bring up things that I am trying to respect, but do not wish to get into?  I would love to get to see my three little great niece/nephews, Gracie Jean, Reid and Jackson, but I don't see that happening, because of this stupid foolishness that continues on and on.  Oh, I get a Christmas card from Cole and his sweet wife Amanda with a picture of the family.  No note of course.  And if they would maybe consider taking their son by to see his grandfather, and talk to him, maybe they would find out that he would love to have a relationship with this great grand child.  But no one talks, so no ones knows.  Grandpa never got a thank you for anything sent.  That is big to grandpa, so fine, you don't like the gift?  You didn't send a card saying you did or make a call or come by and show him.  So he says no more, sends no more.  You come into town you go see your other grandparents and family, but not this grandpa, how do you think he feels?  I don't care if he says things in the wrong ways at time.  FORGIVE, UNDERSTAND, COMMUNICATE, HONOR.  Who knows, it just might start fixing things.  How can you judge his behavior when you have not walked in his moccasins?   But as the younger person, it is your responsibility to try and bridge the divide.  Maybe that is why the commandment is honor your parents.  Maybe, understand your parents is another way to look at it?  And by not making that phone call, or email or drop that card in the mail, how does he know what you are thinking?  How do you really know what he is thinking?  And by the way, while I am at it.  Maybe Mark could look at Dad and realize that he does not get up and going at 9 anymore.  Dad appreciates Mark's visits on the Sundays when he comes by.  But could he maybe make it between 11:00 am and 12:30?  That way Dad has time to get up and do all his little habits and get his breakfast eaten.  Or maybe call ahead and say, "dad, how about I pick you up for breakfast?"  Or maybe get there and say, "dad, how about I take you to lunch?  Or pick us up some burgers?"  Dad is 85 and can say and do some things that take us all back.  But he is still with us.  And he would love to have a relationship with all his children and grandchildren and great grand children.  But do not expect it to be the relationship you want him to have.  It has to be what he can give, and if that is not working for you.  Then this is how things will end.  With a split.

And I did love seeing that picture of Corie and Andy and Gracie and Jackson smiling at me.  But I do wish that you would leave your religion in your life, and if you wish to visit me, respect that, or stay away.  You once said I could not understand how it feels because I have never had children.  Wow!   That was so small minded and mean.  But I stepped back.  You were hurt, you were young.  You did not mean to hurt me.  And actually the hurt was not what you said to me, but the fear that you could ever say that to someone else. But you are a loving person and I know you have grown into someone who would not say that again.  Maybe that is how miscommunication works.  You don't realize what you have said or what the other person heard.

 At one time Mark and Bonnie were the closest to me.  But that is gone and done.  I miss it at times.  But I am not who they think I am.  To say that my alcoholic, porna crazy, crack addicted ex husband was the good member of my family sure made me realize that you didn't know jack.  And yet, Rob, Tom and I continue to try and consider you and your feelings and the complications that you have added into our little family.  And we love you.   And we would love to have you back in our family.  But that would mean you would have to respect who we are, and I have never seen that, so I don't expect it to happen.  So let us agree to disagree.  I love you and the kids, and your parents and brother and his family, but until you can fix your relationship with grandpa, please leave me alone.  I can not and will not side with you on grandpa.  I know who he is and how he acts, and I still feel we are darn lucky to have had him as a dad/grandpa.  And if you can not see that, then oh well.  Your loss, but also grandpas.

So now to end my ranting.  I hope I got this off my chest without hurting too many feelings. But if not, well, at least I made an attempt. Families.  How did we take the most important relationship and make it so difficult?  Put so many rules on it?  Try and fit individuals and people who love each other and run it through the courts.  You do understand that justice is blind?  She can not look into some one's eyes and see the love or hurt or desire to be a family.  That has to be done with open eyes, an open heart and open hands held wide to embrace.  I have found family by blood and by love. And those who are my family not by blood but by love, accept my imperfections, and don't push their opinions on me, but want me for who I am.  Some of my blood family is able to do taht also.  And I love all of them for who they are.  And I don't care what color or religion or sexual preference they are.  I don't care if they are a plant or a rock or a non human animal.  I can love them and try to learn and understand who they are.  Because to me that is the true love that makes the strongest families.

And I may not choose to spend a lot of time with you because you choose a life that I can not be part of, but that does not mean that I will not love you.  Because that is the most I can give to anything or anyone, my love and acceptance. 


  1. You made me think about a lot in these words, dear Kathleen. And it made me think about Syd's post today. Have you read it?
    I think it's a good one.
    Why ANYONE in this world who has the opportunity to enjoy and bask in your love would pass it up is a deep and dark mystery to me.

  2. This is my first comment, but after reading the "offending" post, it seems that maybe something as simple as a comma could have saved more misunderstanding to hyper-sensitive emotions? Maybe if it had said, "no matter what, you are..."

    This is only meant to be helpful. If it isn't, kindly disregard. Thank you.

    I would like to say that I am the offender for the situation because I wrote an email to Cole in response to an email that he sent out to everyone. I pointed out in that email that he had not (up to the time of my email) visited, spoken to, contacted, telephoned, or in any other way acknowledged his grandfather (my father) in eighteen (18) months. Way to go on the 5th Commandment. You see I think that Marks family believes that the three of us sit around and dream up ways to hurt them. News flash, I have better things to do. There is no conspiracy. I did not discuss my email with Dad or Kathleen, I did not ask for their input or their permission. I did not discuss it with them in any way. In fact I did not even tell Dad that I sent the email for 2 days. I did forward a copy to Kathleen in case Mark called her. Just a heads up so she would not be blind sided. I AM SOLELY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE EMAIL AND ITS CONTENT. It was to make a point on the 5th commandment. It apparently hurt Amanda's feelings (she is the only one with an email address and Cole sent the email from that address)and that was not (contrary to popular belief intended. For that I am sorry. But I do not apologize for the content because it is right on the money.
    If Marks family wants to be mad then they have every right to be mad at ME AND ME ALONE! Not Dad or Kathleen, they are not responsible.
    As far as hurt goes, they seem to think that they are always on the receiving end. No this is not true. All of us have suffered at the mouth of each one of them. I will not go into detail because I have forgotten all but one account. I will never ever forgive or forget Bonnie's mouth when we were at the funeral home making arrangements for my Mothers funeral. I asked about the Lord's Pray and mentioned that there are some questions about the last verse and whether or not it was made by Christ. I don't know the answer but If you are interested get an NIV bible and you will see a footnote about the question of the last verse. Look in a King James version and the entire prayer as we learned it in school is there. This is fact and I said that translators and scholars had brought this question up. Bonnie says "the Baptist haven't changed anything." Now I ask you to again read above and you will see that I did not say that the Baptist or any other denomination or religion changed anything. I said scholars and translators. Obviously, Bonnie does not listen to what people say. By the way, a side note. Right after I got the letter from them I received a copy of Biblical Archeology in the mail. I usually thumb through it and then read it later. There was an article about bible translations in it and I sat down and read it. Guess what?? The article said that there was a bible in the past (I want to say the 1400's) that was translated by Baptist translators and theologians that had some "changes in it" that was known as the Baptist Bible. I have this article if anyone would like a copy.
    Cole has every right to be mad at me and I have no problem with that. When he called he threatened me twice as his father always does when he gets mad so. I am twice his age and I am not going to talk to someone that threatens to beat the crap out of me. I probably should not have sent the email, but I had had enough. You, Mark and your family need to straighten up and see the light. He wont be here forever. I know that he is being mistreated by you and yours for something he was not responsible for.
    Rob Miller, Jr.

  4. I don't know why families have such a hard time either. Luckily, my family was so small that any aggravations are now dead. So much death and hurt over the ages in the name of religion. Insanity in my mind. God is love not ego,death,brutality, and a host of other stone throwing things.