My apologies to those who follow me, this has been a hectic week of spring cleaning and scheduling, as we have a busy week coming up.
My youngest daughter is in her schools dramatic presentation of Rogers and Hammersteins “Cinderella”, and it has had its ups and downs. She has struggled through changes to the script, dances, songs and listened with an open mind to the frustration of her peers as they too struggle through the adjustments. This was further challenged by her invitation to a Cirque de Soleil show this week, which admittedly at first I agreed she could go to, then admittedly advised her she could miss her last show. It took courage to say to her “I was wrong…you have to fulfill your commitment to yourself, the school and your peers…especially in light of the changes and struggles you all have had with this presentation.” Yes, I had a bad mom moment where I was willing to make an excuse, but then realized afterwards…what kind of message was I sharing with her? The same struggles she had endured these past few months, I had reinforced to her to continue on, I was suddenly giving her mixed messages…so I had to step up and say “Sorry kiddo, I screwed up, I was wrong…and both your father and I agree you will complete this obligation”. Needless to say, I am not the favourite parent right now but we both learned a lesson from this…It doesn’t hurt to say “I was wrong”, but it does take courage.
Then to make the week end on poor note even more so, I awoke to find out a long time family friend had passed early this morning. Charlie was a good friend of my mothers for years (he knew her when she was younger), and became closer with my dad when my own mother was struggling with Cancer. Similar in character, they found a connection through the loss of their wives, and the friendship they shared with my mom. I vividly remember visiting his home with my mom countless times over the years from a young age into adulthood, his grumpy ‘hello’ always scared me, but he never failed to stop and ask how I was, or share in the latest escapade my mom shared with her best friend his wife. He was an enigma to me for years…because while he could make me laugh at the antics he shared with my mom and his wife, I always found myself saying “I don’t think he likes me”. Years later as we sat in my moms hospital room, sharing a conversation over coffee while she slept, it took Courage to tell him that. He looked at me like he always did, and he said “You’re being silly, I have always liked you…haven’t always agreed with what you do, but you have often made me smile. You have a lot to be proud of.” He thanked me for the Eulogy I had written for his wife when she passed, we talked as discussed how my mom delivered it very well. My shoulders felt lighter as I watched him over the weeks, and regaled in the stories of my mom and their relationship over the years. The laughter flowed.
This weekend the tears will come, as I remember the stories, the people, and the experiences shared over the years. Charlie was at my wedding, he congratulated me on the birth of my first born, and he held me when my mom passed. Today Heaven will open its gates, a family will be reunited and bless us all friends will come together (Heaven may never be the same with all the laughter). He leaves behind a legacy in his children and grandchildren, and all the people whose lives he has touched in his own special way. He touched many lives, as their house was always the house the kids congregated to…before dances, after dances, the family room full of children, a house full of laughter, and a hard working man never failing to stop and say “Hello”.
Sometimes it takes Courage to say “Goodbye”