Boy oh boy...
What a stressful, but never the less rewarding trip back to my motherland of Iowa for Christmas holiday!
In all honesty I really DID NOT want to go on this trip at ALL! Well, maybe a little bit hoping to see snow and experience Christmas the way it really should be enjoyed all soft, white, and frozen. it's been literally years and years since we've had a white Christmas living in sub tropical Florida..the home of crazed house decorations and stobe light Palm trees.
It's just way too easy to walk out in your Bermuda shorts with an umbrella drink in your hand and decorate the premises..I've never seen such gaudy displays of Chritmas decor pha~pahs!
the Christmas lights in frozen Iowa deserve first class awards! Now there's some true dedicated decorating prowess...frost bitten fingers, chapped lips and ALL!
We'd drive by some awesome homes all lit up and I'd clap and cheer for the hearty and determined inhabitants!
Seriously some were so good I wanted to go up and knock on their door and give them a 'frozen perserverance Christmas decoration house award!
But this Christmas trip was important to my hubs because his mother would be celebrating her 86th birthday on Christmas Day...she has been having a fewproblems the last year and we thought ..oh my gosh if something were to happen..we would never forgive ourselves if we did't at least ATTEMPT to make her 86th birthday happy. ATTEMPT being a keyword here..let me tell you after almost 35 years of marital exposure to this little lady..there is ALWAYS something she will find dis-favor with...always!
I've become immune to it..you really have to. Hubs says that's just the way SHE is..so I pace myself with short intervals and put my foot down after I've had my 'Shirley quota' and it seems to work the best way it can. She gets to spend time with her son, I get to honor my husband by letting him honor his momma..warts and all...and no one kills anyone.
Which you would agree would be entirely tacky during the Christmas holiday.
It's really true you teach people how to treat you. I won't be intimidated by a whiner and a whaler...not at this age in my life..but getting to this philosophy took me WAY longer than it should..i always demurred to her craziness at the appearance of being rude. Good manners mean nothing to in-laws that know they can bully and intimate their poor well meaning relatives...remember..YOU teach people how to treat you. Go for the no nonsense approach..hard at first but redeemingly satisfying in the end. It worked out well for me this time. Even if I had to do a bit of 'what will she find to pin on me..if I do this instead of this' brainstorming. I was feeling VERY Sherlock Holmes by the end of the time spent back in Iowa.
I did plenty of soul searching and second guessing myself about trying to make contact with my 43 year old daughter who has had a lifetime of struggling with drugs.
It took such a piece out of my heart and soul I had to distance myself from her for a few years. After doing absolutely everything I could to help her in my uninformed and ignorant ways of tackling her demons..I gave up waiving the white flag of pure self-preservation!
There does come the point of loved ones devouring their own if you let them. I still had her younger by 13 years brother to protect. So I had to literally step back and and let go..and let God. It's truly a miracle that she is still here today.
I wrestled with myself on trying to track her down on this visit, would I be horrified once again? Would I go through the 'where did I go SO wrong beat up game against myself again?
Or would I be able to console her and hug her and cheer her on for the progress she is grippling with..the life line of living?
It was a big risk and a huge gamble but I thought if I was strong enough to deal with a SIL and aMIL who have made it very clear just how repugnant I am to THEM..and how much that attitude has hurt me..I certainly needed to 'BUCK UP' to lend a hand of love and acceptance to my own flesh and blood! I knew that love would always be the right answer
There is nothing I can think of in this world that could be more hurtful than the denial of your birth mother cutting you off.
Yep BIG BIG revelations came from this frozen Iowa trip!
I got to sooth a prodigal daughters struggling heart and assure her I love her and will always love her but I won't watch her fall and die to the demon devil of drugs. She is regulated on her meds now and I pray she can hold herself on the good path she is now on.
I got to pace myself with my sweet hubs assistance and take his mom in the small doses I can handle without becoming pissed off at him for. Making ridiculous excuses for her 'forever, bad behavior toward me over our many many uneasy years, still honoring him and his need to be the good son that he is.
It's all good..and Bobbi is back where she needs to be..her beloved Florida....better off for the lessons she learned on her snowy Christmas experience.
Be your own person, be as kind as you can, and look for the lesson. The HARDEST choice is usually the RIGHT choice! Amen...I did good!!
Snowflakes falling on my nose!
My guy...he makes me a better human~oid!!
My childhood home..my mother lived there for over 50 some years before we brought her down to FL.
The hubs childhood home..he moved around a LOT..but this is always the house he wants to take a pic of..so must have held happy memories for him.
Definitely have got my snow fix for a good long time to come!