I’m not Catholic but I believe that Mother Teresa was a very wise woman. These words are so simple and they sound trite or even clichéd on the surface. When I go deeper I start to understand the true meaning that she probably intended.
Since my grandson’s birthday dinner Monday night, I have been doing some serious soul-searching. The dinner was another of those family occasions where I felt subjected to the presence of “the other woman” once again. And she appeared out of nowhere. No one knew she was coming. Sometimes, when I know ahead of time that she’s attending, I opt out. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I’m very uncomfortable when she’s around. This time I didn’t think she would be there and my grandson had asked me specifically and directly, “Grammy, are you coming to my dinner?” And I told him I would.
I usually try to keep some distance between her and me but this time I was unable to do so. They arrived at the restaurant late, as usual, and the rest of us were already seated. And this was a Japanese restaurant! You know about the seating arrangement in Japanese restaurants, I’m sure. I was one person away from the corner. The only seats remaining were the two on the other side of that same corner. Fortunately, I no longer freak out when I’m on the same acre of land as she, so I got through it without making any snide comments or snarls. Thankfully the grandchildren helped in that regard. They engaged me in conversation and hand holding and kisses blown across the table. Then we went home with the birthday boy for cake and ice cream. Again, one of the granddaughters snuggled on the couch with me and kept me distracted. Bless her! And again I was able to avoid saying anything mean.
I was the first to leave and head for home. I was wrung out and tired. Busy day. Lots of emotion. I went to bed, read a little and went to sleep.
When I awoke in the morning something was tugging at me. I felt unhappy with me. In my head I kept seeing images of D and his woman S. Something important was speaking to me. D looked unhealthy, old, somehow less vital than I thought he should. I don’t know how objective I am about him. Probably not very. But the visions that haunted me most were those of S. She looked pale and frightened. Uncomfortable. Out of place. Sad. I have found myself feeling sorry for her. For both of them.
I’ve expressed many times how much I don’t like what they’ve done to me and to our family. But today I’ve been thinking about them as children of God. As such I want to give them more respect than I’ve been able to offer up to now. Maybe I’m finally seriously preparing to change my thinking. That would mean major healing for me. And who knows what it might do for them. And for the family.
Please think positive thoughts for me that I might take this giant step toward healing. That I might be able to offer a smile. A peace-offering.
The person looking back at me in the mirror is the one I have to answer to every day. I can’t change others, I can only change myself.