Archive for November, 2008

Letting Them Down

Posted on 2008-11-23. Filed under: Thoughts |


I couldn’t sleep tonight because the air was so dry. I woke up and filled the cool air humidifier and turned it on and by that time I was awake. And anyone who knows me knows that the window for my sleeping had passed fleetingly in the night and I wasn’t going back to sleep.

So, I tried to pass the time by clearing out some of my backlog of reading while I watched a movie. I chose Then She Found Me. It’s a 2007 movie with Helen Hunt, Matthew Broderick and Bette Midler that I had never heard of before. As I watched the movie, I really didn’t like it. But, it passed the time and kept me from hearing silence as I read so I kept it on. Towards the end, however, the whole point of the movie came to me and I realized what it was trying to say. It made me like the movie more but it also caused me to start thinking (dammit!). That’s something I generally try to avoid at 4 AM.

The point of the movie was that people let you down – more specifically, your parents let you down. This is what happened throughout the movie. They can die at an inconvenient time. They can lie to you. They might not be there for you. They could regret having you. They could even not want you. Even our heavenly Father can let you down by not making your life easier.

Instantly, I thought of numerous examples of this – both in the present and in the past. I thought of mostly examples in other people’s lives but some in my own too. I even thought about how I suck as a parent sometimes. And I realized how many of the conversations I had with different people yesterday was about parents letting down their child[ren]. And I wondered at the timeliness of me watching this random movie…

It’s good to remember that your parents are human. They are going to fuck up. They are going to make mistakes. They are going to be pulled in many directions. They might not give you the care or the protection you need. They may have really bad priorities demonstrated by their decisions and actions, regardless of their words. Perhaps they gave you away. Maybe they walked away from you.

So, what do you do? Sometimes, there’s nothing you can do. Sometimes, it hurts too much to do anything and sometimes it hurts too much to stand still. The pain can drive you to strive and be your best or it can influence you to live your life recklessly with myopic abandon. It can impel you to learn how to develop healthy relationships of your own or leave you seemingly inherently unable to do so.

Hopefully, that’s not all your parents have done though. Hopefully, the care and love and concern for you greatly outweigh their mistakes and errors. I sincerely hope that my legacy will be one of love, care, honesty, friendship, instruction, guidance and sacrifice.

[I started this post without a point and apparently I am ending it the same way. I just had so many similar thoughts all jumbled together and hoped that they became “something” more precise and distinct after having written them down. But that doesn’t appear to be the case. I am just thankful for something called grace. God extended it to me. I can extend it to others. And hopefully, when required, others can extend it to me.]

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