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Ending the fight

Uncles CM-JM,

In your previous letter, you mentioned my parents and how their visit went. I tell you, my uncles, that the relationship or non-relationship I have with my parents is the great challenges of my life. For many years, I was quite angry–not at any one thing but a number of disappointments. I had little idea about those stemming from my unrealistic expectations and my attitude toward people, life, and them. They were like all parents, just trying to survive. Their parents didn’t teach them that much about parenting, and I’m sure their parents before them…

I have tried to make amends for that tortuous time. I don’t know that I can, and it’s not their business to just accept what I put before them. To talk to my dad about personal things is to demand the time, space, and energy for confrontation. Not violent, mind you, just rubbing up against issues and subjects that aren’t comfortable, have not ever been talked about, but that we walk around with all the time. Most times, I’d rather walk around with that weight than just jump in and get it over with. Too bad, too. When I confront these resentments, I ask myself afterward why I waited so long to get into action.

So, when mom and dad came by between visits with their pals, it was easy to be around them. Regardless the conversation or how it was going or whether or not I agreed, I thought, “It’s good you’re here.” I have come to be happy with where he is emotionally and mentally. When I accepted him as he was, I found myself unburdened of anger and disappointment. After all, it’s not worth holding those grudges and resentments when, ultimately, it may leave unfinished business that will cause emotional upset in the future. I’m already an emotional/melancholy, boo-hoo type. Why exacerbate that?

So, my brothers, I plod along, only a couple of years away from a half century old, with the maturity of a 15 year old. I will, someday, be able to let it all go. When I do, I’ll be my age. I might even get to the point of liking myself.

Wouldn’t that be grand?

We miss both of you like crazy.

Patrick

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