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About Me

Jeff Watkins
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Previous Posts

Wartime Thoughts Over the past few hours I...
Against Nestorianism I am bound to myself Ther...
Sometimes I'm A Sentimental Sucka I always thi...
Exasperation(s) - Of This Sort Today started of...
Early Morning Even though it’s about 8:00 A.M.,...
Sweet Dreams I have come to the conc...
Something Semi-significant I often struggle wit...
Shenanigans The weekend is here and I find myse...
Adventures In Prussia Staring back at the clock...
Help Again Just in case anyone is interested, I...


© To Whom It May Concern 2002-2010, except for cited or source material.

 

Monday, April 14, 2003

I had a good cry.

This is me blogging. You can expect to see this every Monday right here on To Whom it May Concern.

I have written here for 15 months. For the past 13 of those I have also had my own site. There have been struggles as to what I should write here. Usually, my preference is to publish whatever I write on my site. Feeling like I didn't contribute much here I have often considered quitting. Now I'm glad I never did. Something wouldn't let me. I'm glad it wouldn't.

The solution to all our problems is simple. It's a subject I don't want to write about there, my family. I don't want to write it there because they are likely to read it. My mother has been a faithful reader since the inception of Eye Level, and sometimes my sister or dad give it a look. I love my family. I even have relatively open communication with them. The problem is not that I have things I can't talk to them about, but moreso that I am not likely to say anything as directly.

Onward to the post...Saturday I cried for the first time in five years.

I didn't go so long because I thought crying made me any less a man. Actually, there have been at least several times in the past five years when I got close to crying but couldn't. Believe me, I wanted to. Until Saturday I thought something might be wrong with my tear ducts. I know better know.

Donna and my mother had gotten to talk for an hour and a half. This was good quality time. From this I can foresee them developing an enriching and edifying friendship. Mother told Donna some of her regrets.

She felt like she and my dad had pressured me to be things I wasn't exactly capable of being. They had such ill-placed high expectations. My sister was salutatorian of her graduating class. I had the ability to do just as well, but some things were in my way. Up until six grade I was an honor student in line for the same academic success Angie had, but that year I gave up. I gave up because everything started to be written on the boards and reading those boards was quite difficult- even from four inches away. No one understood what my problem was and I got the blame. Also, my father pressured me to be some great athlete unaware of how exactly bad my vision was. He thought I was just scared. In fact I couldn't see the ball, that was what scared me.

She felt that they had broken my spirit.

When my sister got married in 1995 I looked forward to receiving the same attention Angie had always gotten. However, we adopted a second cousin of mine. He needed a home and I am glad we took him in. But then I was jealous. Not only this, but his arrival proved to make my life more difficult. My mother saw this and didn't blame me for it as I've always thought but instead felt bad for me.

She also regretted how they did not discover my learning disabilities until eleventh grade.

She took these regrets upon herself. These were the things I had always held against her. I even felt she was naive about all of it, but she wasn't. Her regrets were deeply rooted. They were not selfish. They demonstrated her love better than I had ever understood before.

As Donna continued to tell me about their conversation I commenced to cry. It was freeing. Later that night I cried more. The tears were bittersweet.

Donna and I watched a video of my sister's wedding. I kept seeing my Granny Sheff who passed away around 6 years ago. I watched how I, in ninth grade, escorted my grandmother down the aisle and to her seat. I told Donna about when my grandmother had gone through chemotherapy. As she lost her hair I'd comb what hair that remained and tell her, "Your still pretty to me." The memory and the video combined brought me again to tears. As the wedding played out before my eyes I kept crying.

Angie and Steve left the wedding in a Corvette. Light-heartedly,I commented to Donna about my grandmother, "She was prettier than that car." She could be awful mean and she was known to cuss worse than sailors but she was my grandmother. I miss her.

In that same wedding I walked my mother down the aisle, where she lit one of the unity candles. Then I walked her to her seat. I was reminded how much my mother loved her own mother. I now had a greater understanding of her. She's gone most of her life misunderstood. I regretted not giving her the benefit of the doubt. I regretted not having at least tried to understand her better. I felt remorse for taking her love for granted.

I want her to know. I want my kids to one day see the love I have for my mother. I resolve to love her like she has loved me, and to let that love be seen.

posted by Chase at 9:10 PM

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