Make Your Children’s Memories Of You Happy

This was a rough week for my husband and me.  I dealt with the three month anniversary of my beloved grandpa going Home, the first year anniversary of my husband’s beloved mom going Home, and today was the 13th anniversary of my abusive dad going Home.

Having these hit all in a row made it obvious to me that I would much rather feel the pain of losing my mother-in-law and dear grandpa because I have happy memories to think back on.  The reason I miss them so much is because they loved me!  They never intentionally hurt me.

I believe in signs from Heaven and it is a joy when I get one from my mother-in-law and grandpa.

But with my abusive dad, it’s a totally different feeling.  An emptiness.  A dark feeling even though I forgive him and have hope for our relationship to be restored in Heaven, I just feel like I want so badly to miss him but I don’t.  Instead I still feel angry and I just can’t muster any good feelings about him.  I so wish that I could.

Losing two people with whom I was extremely close has put this stark contrast between grieving for the loving people versus my dad. And I must say it sucks!

Therefore, as I’ve gone through this week of grieving for the loving relationships I’ve physically lost and the yucky one I never had, I wanted to make a meme to try to explain how I feel. I hope this helps parents understand better what it feels like.

May parents love their children because having wonderful memories is MUCH better than abusive, hurtful memories even if in Heaven, that will all be wiped away.

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Fast Cars, Bullheaded, But Gentle As A Lamb

The above describes my grandpa!  I am broken-hearted as I write this because Grandpa went to Heaven on the evening of May 2, 2016.

He loved his cars, especially Corvettes.  He always took me riding with him. Most of the time you could find him in his garage working on one of his cars, but he always made time for me.  I enjoyed sitting in the garage, listening to music, and playing with the vice he had on his work table.

He played board games with Grandma and me.  He watched tv with me.  He read “the funnies” to me on Sunday mornings when I was there.

My grandparents took me to DisneyWorld. They dragged my wheelchair across the beach to watch the sunset over the ocean. Grandpa took me in the ocean for the first time and a wave almost knocked us down.

He truly loved caring for me. As a child I slept with him and he would make up the best bedtime stories before I fell asleep.  He made me feel safe. I was never ever ever afraid of him because he never intentionally hurt me.

When other family members rejected my now husband, Grandpa accepted him and watched for thirteen years that my husband meant it when he told my grandpa that he would never get tired of caring for me and divorce me.

Grandpa cheered me on through college, grad school, and writing my first book.  He was the best Grandpa I could asked for.

He called me his “tiger.”  It wasn’t until yesterday that I really understood why tiger is a huge compliment!  Tigers are strong, courageous, and beautiful.

If you have been following my blog, you know that we lost my husband’s mom nine months ago. Losing two people I was very close to me has been unbearable.  But the legacy they leave behind is wonderful!

Grandpa, you truly were the BEST GRANDPA EVER!! I am proud I got to be your “favorite granddaughter” because as I would say, “I’m your only granddaughter.” I miss you so so much already! But you are finally free from the pain you have dealt with for so long! I love you! Your “Tiger.” 💜

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My grandpa. April 1, 1928-May 2, 2016 See you in Heaven someday, Grandpa!

The Pain Is REAL!

So, my husband and I are grieving his mom who went Home August 8th, 2015 and it’s become more and more obvious how the United States wants to repress pain as soon as possible. Any negative emotion is pushed into a time frame, and once that time frame is over, it’s time to “get over it.”

Western society minimalizes everything unless the media finds it sensational and can then exploit others’ pain.

It wasn’t like this in Bible times. People spent weeks or months in mourning. It wasn’t rushed. You could actually mourn without pressure. Now, once the person is in the ground, it’s time to move on.

Well, I’m not ready. Grief does not work that way, especially when it’s a MOM!

Watching my husband grieve his mom has been unbearable. She carried him in her womb, nursed him, and did all the wonderful mom things with him.

How in the world do you simply “get over” that?  Guess what!  You DON’T!  Especially when she was a wonderful mom that never intentionally hurt him.

She was my second mom for 17 years. She fully accepted me into her family. With my disability AND our age difference, she could have chosen to be like my dad and reject me and disown her son. But she and her husband welcomed me right into the family as did the rest of my husband’s family.

To be hurting this much actually makes me happy in a way because to hurt THIS much means she did something VERY RIGHT. I’d choose this grief over the weird, yucky grief I had with my dad who abused me.

We need to stop teaching children from infancy that happiness is the only acceptable emotion because it’s not. It has created a society where pain and suffering must be dealt with as quickly as possible because it makes others feel uncomfortable. God never intended that. Validate your children’s negative feelings. Help them learn healthy ways of dealing with negative emotions.

Then, teach them how to help others who are in pain. Because while anyone can put a smile on his/her face and act “fine,” the pain is REAL no matter how old you are. It helps if not only God, but other people actually come along side you and help carry some of the pain. We can’t stop it, but we can help carry it!

Romans 12:15 New American Standard Bible (NASB):

“Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.”

Love this song, “Not Right Now” by Jason Gray.

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What Will Your Legacy Be?

Yesterday my mother-in-law went Home to be with the Lord. Today is the 12th anniversary of my dad going Home.

I am am filled with grief as I write this post. Thankfully, last week my husband and I were able to visit her. She and I were quite close. I miss her so much.

She was such a wonderful, kind, generous, loving, and gentle mother to my husband and his sister. When my husband and I began dating, she totally accepted me into their family. She beamed with joy on our wedding day.

My husband and his sister have all happy memories of her. She wasn’t perfect, but she was a great mom. And that is her legacy!

My dad, however, was physically, emotionally, and verbally abusive to me. I hate that that is his legacy as I can’t deny what he did to me. Yes, he was often loving, but after 33 years, it’s the yucky stuff that still comes to mind when I think of him and that makes me sad.  It’s especially hard on days like this to remember him because he refused to heal our relationship while he was still here.

It’s an interesting thing.  The more a parent hurts a child even if the parent is loving at times, it is those harsh, abusive times that come to mind most when thinking about that parent.  Yet, if a parent is loving, gentle, kind, and empathetic, THAT is what the child will also remember the most.
No matter how “lovingly” you hurt your children, they will remember those times more even if they try to deny it.

Do you want your legacy to be how you inflicted pain on your children? Or do you want your legacy to be how you loved them and positively disciplined them?

It’s up to you and until you die, it’s never too late to repair and heal the relationship with your children. I wish my dad had repaired our relationship before he died in 2003.

I’m so grateful my mother-in-law left behind a wonderful legacy for her children and to everyone who had the pleasure of knowing her. And even though my mom is still alive, I’m grateful her legacy is positive. She sacrificed so much for me.

What will your legacy be?

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