Family is the crucible in which we learn love, and forgiveness, because there are so many opportunities to practice both.
There was some drama with the children’s father this weekend. I did not experience it personally, but I spent some time yesterday soothing my two oldest, and I was physically and emotionally wiped out.
It is at moments like this when a spouse would be handy. First to listen, then to hold me until I am all cried out. [And maybe to knock some sense into their father. I just hurt so badly for Firstborn and Secondborn, who have the medical and financial POA’s. Dealing with their father is a topic that is frustrating and guilt-inducing for all of the girls, and sadly it is not a topic which tends to increase unity within our tribe.] Failing that, I ate a bowl of ice cream and planned to go cry myself to sleep.
I am frequently amazed to rediscover how curative a nap can be. I lay down, told Father “it’s OK if I cry,” and was asleep within seconds. No tears, just sweet, restorative sleep and a mildly amusing dream in which my dear, departed mother was scolding me for mugging down with some guy. It wasn’t Sean Connery, more’s the pity.
Where was I? Basically, what has happened, is this: the good news is, the children’s father has re-qualified for a temple recommend. And he has done so not with the hope of winning me back. The bad news is that he passed out in the temple on Saturday, BP 80/40, and was kept overnight at a nearby hospital for observation. Firstborn had to get a sub for her Primary class so she could pick him up and take him back to the nursing home.
He, of course, didn’t want to go. He keeps insisting that he will do just fine on his own. She said there were about 20 minutes of pleasant conversation on the drive home, where they talked about her classes and her plan to go on and get her masters’ degree while she is on a roll academically. [Go, Firstborn, go!]
But mostly he was yelling and pitching a fit, and she was crying. This is my child who rarely cries. She gets mad, she yells, there might be childbirth words, but it is a measure of just how crazy-making he is that he can reduce her to tears and guilt with his tantrums.
I did ask her if she’d like me to go down to the nursing home and yell at him. She snorted and said she had pretty well handled that herself. [I can only imagine. *insert eye roll*. I will add, the thing for which I most proud of her, is how she has learned over the past 15 years to control her temper. Which she got from me. And my grandmother.]
The nurse at the nursing home wouldn’t let him leave to go to church until he had drunk two bottles of water in her presence (he is also severely dehydrated).
I was starting to feel a little hopeful that he was getting his act together spiritually and might be able to regain the trust of our children. Yesterday pretty well shot that hope in the foot.
So that, in a coconut-sized nutshell, is what my children are having to deal with, and of course it *would* happen on a fast-and-testimony weekend, to interrupt their rejoicings, and consequently my own.
I can only hope that they have received as much peace in the evening hours, and overnight, as I have.
I was a little concerned that all the talking yesterday put me near the limit on my phone plan, but I reviewed that this morning and am much reassured. I have more minutes per month than I remembered, and I am nowhere near red-lining them.
Don’t everybody call at once to congratulate me. [Texting is fine.]
Today I get to see Rayyna’s finished shawl, and tonight is the online book club discussion, and I am past the wrist on the fingerless glove I am designing and knitting for Celeste. So if I am not yet firmly in my happy place, it is easily within reach.
May you all have help and hope and comfort in your own, individual challenges today. And may you each feel Heaven’s loving care enfold you.
- Five years into widowhood, after one year of incredible happiness and nearly 14 years of single blessedness. Have given up perfect manicures and pretty hands in order to resume playing the soprano recorder and to see if I can figure out how to play bluegrass banjo. Singing in the shower. Still really, *really* love to knit!