Monday Morning Memories

Here and there I've posted some blogs on Mondays about different memories, mostly of my parents. Over the week-end, my oldest, Brande, had written a really good blog post about her Grandpa that she never got to meet because of her dad, my ex-husband, Mr.Wonderful. Back in April of last year, I had made the decision not to write about Mr.Wonderful anymore. As "wonderful" as he still is, I know at times it was hurtful to my kids, and we all get to a point that we need to move on. I do my best to try and ignore and let go of all the things he continues to do to my kids. They are adults, and as hard as it is, I know I have to step away. This past Christmas was especially difficult. Every Christmas Eve my kids go over to their dad's for a couple hours. This past Christmas Eve, their dad pulled another, "Mr.Wonderful" on them. When Bryce, Justine and Morgan came home that night, I was sitting by the Christmas tree, having a drink and listening to Christmas music and enjoying the holiday. As you know, it doesn't make much to make me happy. I will never forget Bryce quietly sitting on the couch holding Morgan, not saying much. He finally looked up and said to me, "why does he do that"? It's difficult for a parent, even when your "kids" are grown to see them hurt by someone that has also hurt you for years. But life moves forward, and I "accept" that some things in life will never change and there will always be "Mr.Wonderful" episodes. It hurts me to see my kids hurt, but I'm a better parent to my kids by "letting it go". It's not my war, it's not my fight anymore. My kids are tight, they are strong, and I'm proud of them. Brande does a lot of different things besides the nursery, Johnnye Merle Gardens, at Country Roads. She teaches an art program after school, has a non-profit organization, Living Histories, and a few other things. She also writes very well. I admire her for pushing to know her family history on her dad's side of the family. Mr.Wonderful didn't share much. Me, on the other hand, I'm an open book, what you see is what you get. Below is a recent post from Brande's blog. I am very proud of the words she wrote below, and her determination to know her family history.

"I took some photos of my paternal grandfather home with me on Christmas Eve to scan. I’ve only ever had one or two pictures of him, and noticed my father had several I hadn’t seen when I was over at his house for the holiday. I’ve never known much about him; my father talks of him a bit more now, gradually forming a fuller picture beyond what I’ve grown up knowing. I had a basic image, things like his name, the fact that he played minor league baseball (he was a pitcher, and I have a baseball sitting in my office on which he wrote his stats from one of his games, my great grandmother had a several of them in her closet and gave them to us when my dad, grandmother, sister and I visited her, 99 years old, about a year before she died) and had a shot at the majors until being drafted in the Korean war. Frostbite took away that career – I had always assumed it was in his hands, fingers, but recently my father clarified it was actually in his feet and ankles – he couldn’t run like he once could upon returning home. He worked for a newspaper, perhaps the Orange County Register, I don’t know completely, my father is always vague about these things, a reflection, I guess, on his own feelings and relationship with him, which, even though he’s been dead over 20 years now, is probably changing. He never saw any of his grandchildren, never even met my mom – I was about 6 or 7 when he died, by that point both of my siblings were already born – and I can only assume, from what I’ve gathered from other family members, that was my father’s doing or choice, not my grandfather’s. Who knows. I’ve been angry at my father when I was younger to the point that I might have been tempted to do the same to him; it’s not in my place, I suppose, to blame him for making that decision. Time and aging and maturity is what shapes us as people, I think; in a strange way as my own relationship with my father shifts I get a better picture of both who he and my grandfather were and are. Anyway, really like the images themselves; the uniform photo I am assuming was his official ‘player’ photo for his minor league team, the second one I have been told was him signing his league contract."

This man above, Bill Jackson, who I believe I was "allowed" to talk to a couple of times on the phone but was never allowed to meet while I was married, was my kids Grandpa! He "IS" a part of my kids and my grandbabies "roots", and I'm anxious to see some more photos. Regardless of how you feel about some of your family, they are still "blood" and a part of you. Props to Brande for doing this! Makes me proud.


Maureen said...

You should be proud. Brande really has her act together. It took me forever to learn that I cannot be responsible for anyone's actions other than my own. That combined with the fact that I cannot change the past has significantly changed my life the past few years. Very freeing.

P.S. I pretty much read my way through the past couple of years after my dad passed away suddenly. I can recommend some great books if you are interested.

Debbie's Garden said...

I have the same ex. Its heartbreaking to go through. I don't even want to go in to it, at all. I had to let it go. My kids don't see him anymore.

Eugenia said...

It always hurts especially when we have shared children with a Mr. Wonderful.

For me the hurt comes because after all these years and so many low blows I am still surprised when Mr. Wonderful disappoints yet again.

What I always say is that I left not because I didn't love him but because I finally loved me more.


The Renaissance Chick said...

Guess the fact that Mr. *sswipe abandoned his own father, should have been a foreshadowing of things to come for you and your children! How miserable he must be! Thank goodness, you have created a warm and loving home despite it all!