Well, my life has been greatly changed and complicated in the past year and a half. I am not in LaValle any longer. I thought perhaps I would die there but the whole world shifted to the left and I am still braced for the next shock wave.
All that to say that Thanksgiving has lost it's luster. I loved gathering in the LaValle dining room with family and decorating for fall with pumpkins and leaves with table groaning under the load of favorites I cooked for them. The hunting would go on but they would return for Pie. No more.
Last year we had an early Thanksgiving at Ira and Ashley's and my kids were all together. This year due to many things (not the least of which is the unresolved issues of apologies from John and Mom due to Jessi Lynn) we will be gathering at Suzanne's big table and Jessi will be missing from our midst. She cannot afford to stay that long...needs to sing for her supper where they pay her well and to be honest it is just so unresolved here.
Mike complicated it for me by insisting that I force the issue of reconcilliation or he will not attend. Yikes! How can that be forced? It is a heart issue. Comfort has little to do with it. I would not do that to him and I will not do it to her but guess it will fall where it may. I cannot stay silent forever. I will not follow in denial but I will not try to control it either. My heart is so damaged and I wonder what to do of value. I can fight. I am good at fighting. I can run. I know how...But neither will help anyone, least of all me.
I cannot insist I have no resentment for the raw deal I got, but even that I can forgive. I had to buy a house after we spent our retirement getting into LaValle and keeping that old place going. It was a shoestring deal and then our income was cut by $13,000 and our bills went way up due to mortgage and insurance etc. The story is not over either as add that to the trauma of Jack's health issues and the burns and me having to go half-time and losing half that money...$9,000 more lost per year. Wow that adds up to a $22,000 loss in a year not counting the added mortgage.
Money is important but God has taken care of us in the midst of this deal. The real resentment is having my daughter pushed out by my brother and mom. I have a huge hard time with that. Mom still is polite and kind to the woman that took away her husband and left her in a terrible spot. I am perfectly okay with that... and Mom can forgive Jail-birds and alcoholics but my daughter who only helped me and tried to live her dream. No, she rejected her. WHY?
It comes down to bottom line. I know that Mom and Dad tried to abort me. It didn't work. Then Dad refused to accept John for a number of years, blamed mom for tricking him. So instead of learning from his beginnings John became like the dad who rejected him. My dad was a wild man without limits that would have made him good or at least better. He struck down many.
Some cannot forgive him his excesses. I have and peace came. My mom chose her son over all others. I understand that but I have two sons and that gives me even more perspective. My mother used strategy and schemes to make her way. I do not blame her but Oh my it has caused her to spend her old age trying to undo a scheme done to her. Is this what happens to those who live by the sword???? Live by the scheme and die by the scheme...I wish I knew.
Jessi Lynn is living her dream. She sings and writes and pushes to make it work in the face of impossible odds. No one can diss her without shame. My brother is not living his dream. He is working it to make it easy. Being sneaky is just easy. Like parent comes then the child...becoming what they do not respect but defending it as their right. I have no such excuse. My sin is mine and no blame can excuse it. I learned it in a mental hospital in 4 days. I do not have to be what they have made. I can be better. God came into my life and empowered me, challenged me and disciplined me and let me fail but loved me still. Mom talks to others and calls me a failure. I know better so it cannot penetrate my heart. It hurts me but not so deep I cannot forgive but call my daughter a failure without cause and I say "Fie upon you beasts!"
Does this mean I am without forgiveness? No,but I should like to see the truth come out and responsibility be plain for all that has happened. I will own mine. I wanted to believe more than the evidence showed and I stayed too long trying to live in a place of memory. I trusted when there was no reason to trust except my heart longs to trust. All done now...I am going forward.
What does this mean for Thanksgiving? Well, come and see! My love is bigger than my hate and it will always be.
Why? Because Jesus went to the cross for me. He died so I could live. He that was sinless embraced me, a sinner and a wretch. Now I am His beloved, so how could I not forgive? But will I be silent about the truth? Perhaps not.... I am still looking ahead!