Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I listened as her words shattered my mind's false idea of the ideal. I thought they were happy after all these years of struggle. Her family had experienced so many dysfunctional stages. Yet, it survived and I had secretly grown to envy their large gatherings marked by excess of food, chatter, hugs and laughter. I thought the happy ending had arrived for them.

But no.

“Things are worse than ever,” she said.

The boys, her three grown sons, refuse to talk or socialize with each other. She visits with them individually while avoiding any conversation about siblings, wives, or children. Toxic gossip infected them. The economy also delivered its lethal punch forcing bankruptcy and the demise of their business partnership. Unpaid debts, misunderstood intentions caused explosions of hurt feelings. Even in their past times of dyer impairment love was present to forgive, to assist, to accept. Only the flip side of love is present now.

“I hope they don't wait 'til I'm dead to make amends.” Her soft words competed with the sob she choked to feign resignation.

I listened to my friend knowing that my empathy wasn't really helping.


Family quarrels are bitter things. They don't go by any rules. They're not like aches or wounds; they're more like splits in the skin that won't heal because there's not enough material.
F. Scott Fitzgerald

Forgiveness does not change the past,
but it does enlarge the future.
Paul Boese

Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else;
you are the one who gets burned.
The Buddha


  1. love the quotes you ended your post with.

    loss is the greatest opportunity for growth - but its hard to focus on that when you're in the middle of it.

    "I hope they won't wait til I'm dead to make amends"... :(

  2. *sigh* sometimes one does not choose to be considered an 'enemy' by family but is
    pressed into that role via family's negative
    interpretation & expectation of EVERYTHING about one. when you wake up and realize that they are never going to like you, you just have to move on and be among those who do. . .

    Aloha from Waikiki;

    Comfort Spiral

    > < } } ( ° >

  3. ugh...family fights and squabbles suck....no one comes out unscathed...there was a time i did not talk to my sister for years honestly and it was wrong...

  4. i like the Paul Boese quote you placed at the end because it is so true...we ruin our own lives when we don't forgive because you just can't build anything new on ruins...so sad when whole families fall apart and no one is willing to make the first step..ugh..

  5. Family fights are horrible... there is no time to make up afterwards. Love the quotes..

  6. I have three younger sisters. I haven't spoken with them in 6 years and doubt I will again. It's sad, but sometimes it's for the best.

  7. hope you're enjoying your weekend myrna...

  8. Families. Sometimes I swear we have them to run from them. The pain and sorrow can be too much.

    Thank you for this post.

  9. How tragic. Families are supposed to support you no matter what. Right? Truth is, sometimes they are the first to turn away. Maybe it is the mirror they see their own reflection in.

  10. I think the worst are the fights within families and between relatives, as people that are related often go out of line, as they think they can. I have always wondered how it is that the people that are suppose to love us the most are often those that hurt us the most too.

  11. So sorry for families like this. Thank goodness mine has never been like it. We get along and have fun together....maybe it's because we all live hundreds of miles away from each other! (I don't mean to make a joke of your friend's situation, Myrna. I feel badly for her.)