07 December 2016

An Answered Cri de Coeur

The anguished cries of my three-year-old grandson, combined with a statement by Dostoyevsky and hymn lyrics by Isaac Watts, prompted me to ponder how we can discover and attain our deepest desires. 

While visiting the family of our youngest son some years ago, the adults in our group were startled one evening by the sudden, impassioned crying of our three-and-a-half-year-old grandson, David. He was apparently having a nightmare. Our daughter-in-law attempted to calm him with soft words and rocking, but he continued to cry out and talk nonsense which related to what he was dreaming.

She carried him downstairs to join the rest of us, and mentioned that this sort of thing had happened before. Once David was fully awake, she assured us, he would calm down. For a couple of minutes he continued to wail and display deep distress, despite his mother’s efforts to awaken and reassure him.

26 July 2016

No Looking Back

A little over nine years ago, my oldest son and I exchanged good-bye waves and smiled at each other as he backed out of our driveway for the last time. My husband and I had sold our house, and were moving out of state to live nearer our grandchildren.

As he drove off, my son’s head was held high, and he didn’t look back.

He had recently been laid off from his job; but he was now excited about beginning a new career as a writer. Despite the known difficulties of breaking into the ranks of literary professionals, his success in getting several stories published during the last few years spurred him to consider the loss of his increasingly joyless job as an opportunity to jump wholeheartedly into that other field. With concerted effort, determination and a bit of luck, he was hopeful that he would soon be able to make his living doing what he truly loved to do.

As I watched his car disappear around a bend, the tears began to flow, and my mind went back to another farewell experience that had occurred when he was nineteen:

22 July 2016

Building Bridges rather than Walls

About ten years ago, I received very positive audience response to a talk I gave in church, probably because it dealt with situations most people could identify with. I recently ran across a Word document that contains the post I subsequently wrote for this blog containing the substance of that talk.  For some unknown reason, the original post seems to have disappeared. So here it is again:

What are some of the things that prevent us from achieving more harmony in our adult family relationships? Selfishness and pride are often the culprits. But many times, I think it is misunderstandings that promote strife, hurt feelings and alienation. We all have different personalities, and we see things from different perspectives. We can't always find the right words to express our feelings; and sometimes we let the emotion of the moment lead us to say things we don't really mean, and immediately regret. If left unresolved, misunderstandings in the family can foster mounting stress, anger, and resentment, and may prevent us from enjoying the trust and confidence of those we love most.

I’ve heard it said that when faced with difficulties in a relationship, we can choose to build either walls, or bridges. A few years ago I had an experience with one of our adult children which taught me how useful bridge-building can be in uncovering and resolving misunderstandings.