I have been pretty quiet this last little while dear imaginary reader, stuff in my life caught up with me and I just had to go with it ya know? Its not something that I generally do, I put my big girl pants on, add some volume to my hair, wear my best yet comfy clothes, break out my Tory bag, and my well loved yet still nice Cole Hahns and get on with things. Since my Uncles funeral going with the flow has been difficult for me.
My brother as part of his job handles a dog that is trained in helping people through stress, anxiety - that kind of stuff. I knew I was stressed being at the funeral - don’t misunderstand, I wanted to be, actually needed to be there. That said, the service took place in the same church as my Dad’s funeral and I hadn’t been back since then. Since my parents divorced forever ago, my older siblings and I have not had much interaction with my Dad’s side of the family. So while I was with family, I didn’t really know them. Its a strange situation, one that has been in the back of my mind I guess for ever but particularly since my Dad passed.
Getting back to the dog....my brother asked me if I thought it would be ok to bring Blarney to the service. My response was sure! We all know I am a little dog crazy and petting a pup or cuddle time always sounds like a great idea to me. I was certainly not counting on her jumping up on me during the service, making me look in her beautiful brown eyes; to make me be present. My brother and brother in law, asked if I was ok - of course I was, not thinking I wasn't, or what made her do that. On the way home my brother asked me where I was when Blarney drew me back, listening to the service was my response. In my brothers oh so subtle way his response “Ah, no. Maybe you should think about that. Blarney cued on you, so you were feeling something”.
When you are a kid you just accept things for what they are, you aren’t given the details of situations you just live them. Ever since my kids were in their teenage years, they often asked why we didn’t spend much time with my Dad and his family. I didn’t have a real answer other than its always been that way. Since my Dads passing and knowing that it bothered my kids I have spoken to a few of my older relatives to get their spin on why things are the way there are. Before my Uncle’s service I had had the same sort of conversation with a couple of people. I guess I was in my own head trying to sort out a feeling of rejection that I never allowed to surface before. Blarney felt it and brought me back, and in the last two weeks her actions have hit home. I am certain that my kids as well have had the same feelings of rejection - all of us not really understanding.
Its taken a lot of reflection and a lot of tears, but I think I get it. My parents divorced back in the 60’s, at that time not many families had much experience with the whole process. Unlike today when more is know about the effects that divorce can have on kids and there is an abundance of services to assist before, during and after divorce for all parties concerned. I believe that without really thinking about it my fathers family divorced our whole family not just my Mom. I also believe that its made everyone more that a little uncomfortable, and unsure as to how to move forward. Understanding this helps me see how it has affected me - odd, allowing my self to go with this new knowledge has somehow given me a sense of peace.
Yesterday I looked around my kitchen that was filled with my husband, our kids and their partners, Ollie and Murph. Everyone was excited to be decorating for Christmas and making plans for the Holiday season. I truly am blessed. With my Dad gone, I had already been spending more time with my younger siblings and chatting with older relatives - had reached out to cousins. This year, heading into the holiday season my heart is a little lighter.
I think I am just going to go with it and use this new clarity to help me take new steps to get off the tightrope.