Tag Archives: parents

Forgiveness Is Not An Easy Virtue

 

Wikipedia defines “virtue” as:

Virtue (Latin: virtus, Ancient Greek: ἀρετήarete“) is moralexcellence. A virtue is a positive trait or quality deemed to be morally good and thus is valued as a foundation of principle and good moral being.

Personal virtues are characteristics valued as promoting collective and individual greatness. The opposite of virtue is vice.

A new year; a new vision.  Can “forgiveness” be one of my new year resolutions?  Or, maybe my only new year resolution?  Am I ready for being virtuous when it comes to forgiveness?

Over these many years – maybe 50 or more – I have not had the moral strength to forgive two very important people in my life, now deceased.  What makes a person important to someone?  Having a great impact on someone’s life, whether positive or negative, is what makes that person(s) important.

My first husband, Danny, was a smoker.  I hated the smoking; everything else about him, I loved – deeply.  He promised he would quit smoking after we were married.  I believed him, and in my innocence of not having any idea what it meant to quit smoking, I agreed to marry him.

I held onto my anger and resentment all through the marriage; however, trying very hard to not let them come to the surface and take over the wonderful aspects of our relationship.  I know I succeeded in keeping those negative feelings below the surface and I allowed myself to enjoy and bask in his love.  But, he knew the truth.  And, looking back now, I believe he felt guilty every time he lit up, especially when we spent time together.

Shortly before Danny died, he apologized and said to me, “I know the cigarettes did me in.”  I didn’t forgive him then, but I did tell him I loved him – which was the truth, of course.

Danny, I forgive you now, love.  You couldn’t stop smoking, even though you tried several times.

Jerry was my father.  He was born in Manhattan and brought up in Brooklyn, in the early part of the 20th century.  His parents had several children – he was sort of in the middle – and he was a tough, bully of a kid, as I was told.

The household was quite a dysfunctional one.  There was no warmth and love between his parents; nor for the children.  Mother and father separated after the kids came along.

Mom and Dad met in the sand on a Brooklyn beach, due to mistaken identity.  Mom wasn’t wearing her glasses, and, coming back from the concession stand,  thought Dad was one of those in her crowd.  She called his name (the same name as one of the guys in her crowd), and Dad, who was strumming a ukelele while entertaining the group he was with, turned and immediately fell in love.

Long story short, living with Dad was not easy.  He had a terrible temper when he didn’t get his way, and showed it in ways that weren’t so nice.  He was a blot on my mother’s family, who were genteel, respectful and warm and loving.  Try as they might, even to the extent of throwing him out of their home (didn’t want their daughter marrying him), they tried to discourage their daughter from seeing him.  It didn’t work.

After Mom died, his behavior didn’t improve towards his daughters, and there were some spats, to put it mildly – at one point, we estranged ourselves.

Dad, I forgive you now.  You never understood and were not given the tools you needed, in order to understand.

My inspiration for this post came from “Psychologistmimi.”

 

 

Memories of A Time Past: Part 3

On Hoarded Ordinaries,  Lorianne DiSabato writes about a landscape architect named  .  Lorianne found out about him in a PBS documentary.  I had never heard of Olmsted, but certainly should have.  Anyway, thank you, Lorianne; if you didn’t post this blog, I wouldn’t have had the following memories stirred up.

I was born and brought up in Brooklyn NY.

One of the landmarks that put Brooklyn on the map.

One of the landmarks that put Brooklyn on the map.

My parents took me to Prospect Park many times when I was a young child, and before my sister was born.  Prospect Park was one of Olmsted’s earlier creations after designing Central Park in Manhattan.

One of my old stomping grounds.

One of my old stomping grounds as a young girl.

I spent many happy hours in Prospect Park as a young girl with my parents, walking along the paths, enjoying the grassy areas.  I remember my father loved taking photographs (please see “Memories of a Time Past:  Part 1“), and he took many when we were in the park.  I remember one picture he took of me holding up a fish, attached to a fishing line.  I didn’t catch it.  I think he “borrowed” it from someone who actually did the “catching,” so that he could take a photo (I searched all my old family photo albums, but couldn’t find it, but did a great organizing of my photo albums in the meantime!).  There was at least one lake in the park, and, in memory, it seemed to be a large one.  My memory doesn’t recall if there were others.

Unfortunately, as the years passed, the park fell into disrepair, and it became a destination that was not very welcoming.  In time, the city saw fit to “resurrect” it, and, with the re-gentrification of the Park Slope and surrounding areas, it again beckoned to the “city” folks to come and experience the beauty of Olmsted’s design.

Many years later, I strolled along the same hexagon-shaped concrete tiled paths with my own young children, that I had walked on when I was a child!

Couldn't find that path, but this is similar.

Here is an excellent example of the hexagon-shaped  tile as I remember it.

 

[images from bingdotcom]