Friday, July 31, 2015

On Forgiveness

My mom was a latchkey kid of the late sixties/early seventies. A Navy brat. She practically raised her younger sister.

I still think they're bitter about this.

Because a comment was made the other day--about the narcissism of my grandmother--how it was always about her. And, if it wasn't, she would find a way to make it about her. Family always came second (or third, or fourth).

She passed away a couple of years ago. Cancer, ultimately. But my mom was there. All the way to the end.

So her tone and the narcissism comment surprised me. And I was reminded of the saying:

Not forgiving is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.

Forgiveness isn't condoning the behavior or the actions, but choosing to let go. 

I think we're all doing the best we can with the information we have and who we are at the time. And we are each a product of the generation before us. 

I communicate with my daughter (probably to a fault). Explain and discuss and explore because I never felt comfortable enough to talk to my own mother about things.

My mother watched her mom work and work and work--put family second--for a mediocre job. Limited resources. If family is going to come second, the job should be worth it. Education became super-important to her.

My grandmother grew up in a world where women had few choices. She would never depend solely on a man. She ran away from my great grandmother, would take that job, make it her life.

I wonder what my great grandmother was running from. 

And her mother. 

Doing the best she could with the information she had and who she was at the time, I guess.

I wonder what my daughter will over-compensate for in her own life.

Whatever it is, I'm not drinking the poison, and I hope she doesn't, either.