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Marcia's kindness

Friday, October 28, 2011

A close friend's mom died two days ago, from brain cancer. She was an amazing woman, so full of life and love. What I found most remarkable and comfortable and lovely about her was how non-judgemental she was.

It's not that she didn't have opinions -- she sure did! She just made a conscious effort not to burden other people with any negative talk. Instead, she reflected carefully and lovingly on what people said. That made her so refreshingly easy to talk to!

My grandma was like that too. It's something I really miss about her.

So last night, in honour of Marcia, I stopped myself before I criticized my dad on the phone. I don't know how to describe my relationship with my dad. It's….complicated? No one can irritate me like he can. I was about to chastise him for one of his…. how can I put this without sounding mean? I get mean when I talk about him!

I've spent a lot of time being critical of him. It's a habit that's hard to break. He made a lot of mistakes, and I suffered for them, especially as a child and teenager. Those days are long past, and he's in recovery and has tried his best to make amends. He's getting older and can only change so much.

I never let him get away with anything and was really quite rough on him. He's not a careful man, but he tries his best to be careful with me, because I've been so testy and vocal and easily irritated by his actions. It occurs to me that I may have behaved that way with him so that he wouldn't treat me in the cavalier and thoughtless manner that he uses with most people.

Anyway, I was about to tell my dad off for doing something he often does, doesn't know he does, and probably won't stop doing no matter how often I remind him. But I thought of Marcia's kindness, and I didn't. I just jokingly changed the subject. It made our conversation so much lighter and easier.

I just want to be as kind as possible, like Marcia was. Life's too short to cause anyone unnecessary suffering.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • UTMIZ_2000
    What an amazing legacy Marcia left you. I can hear the difference she has made in your life.

    3175 days ago
    Marcia sounds like she was a wonderful person and an excellent example. How big of you to take her lead and try and move past the moment with your Dad to a better one. I have some similar type family issues...you have got me thinking about how to deal with them.
    3179 days ago
  • BISCO_
    3199 days ago
    So sorry to hear of the loss of Marcia.

    Forgiveness will make your life brighter, as well as your dad's. I had a very rocky relationship with my parents for years. Honestly, they were wonderful people, but terrible parents. I finally realized that my ranting and raging changed nothing and I might as well just accept who they were and forgive the things I held on to that made me angry. It really opened the door to a new relationship with them, and made it so much easier for me to take care of them in their later, frail years. Now I am so glad that I left my angers and resentments behind and build a different kind of relationship with them. Now that they are gone, I really miss them, including their irritating idiosyncrasies.

    3203 days ago
  • DOODIE59
    Oh boy. Do I have opinions on this subject:)

    Let me say first that forgiveness heals YOU, and that is why it is important to do it. So YOU can move on with an open heart:)

    My father is the same as yours. However, I have seen small improvements over the last 10 years and it was freeing to decide that he is trying his best, and that is all you can ask of a person. He doesn't even know why he has to change his behaviours, but he is trying to change because he has seen that it isolates him from his family.

    Let me be clear that this is not the same as allowing unacceptable behaviour, which needs to be cut out of your life.

    Those people who choose to see the good in things, or naturally happy people like my husband, have a huge and wondrous gift and the people around them are blessed by it.

    Here's to always aspiring to the best part of ourselves!
    3203 days ago
    I'm sure Marcia would love that she inspired this in you.
    I know it is difficult to let go of old hurts.
    Thank you for sharing with us.
    3203 days ago
    What a wonderful sensitive blog and certainly there's a lesson in here for me too. My parents live half the year in the UK and half here in Spain. I spend half of my life missing them terribly and the other half feeling irritated by them and things they do. I might phone up my Mum because I fancy chatting to her and then can't wait to get off because she's getting on my nerves. I really need to try,as you are, to be less judgemental as they are both nearly 70 and Mum is fighting (presently suceeding) bladder cancer. I need to find patience and kindness for the people who spent their lives making sacrifices for me so that I couls follow my dream to dance.

    Your blog has humbled me....thankyou...and good luck with your tribute to Marcis too emoticon emoticon
    3204 days ago
    Nice blog! Thank you!
    3204 days ago
    A lovely memorial for Marcia. And a lovely gift to yourself.
    3204 days ago
  • CANNIE50
    What a lovely way to honor Marcia. There is a quote I love: "The surest sign of maturity is having compassion for one's parents." Anais Nin The quote, and your blog, hits a nerve with me because my eldest son has a huge resentment against me. It is hard to forgive those who have hurt us, intentionally or inadvertantly, but it is so liberating when we let our resentments go. Clearly, you have found a good strategy: change the subject. I just spent the afternoon with my elderly mother. She is lovely in many ways but has some habits which really irk me, like commenting on people's weight problems. My new strategy is to simply ignore the remark (which is probably annoying to her, right?) I am aware that my time with her is finite and I do not wish to have regrets by being frequently annoyed with her. Thank you for the blog, and for the lovely quotes you included. emoticon
    3204 days ago
  • no profile photo CD8467616
    It's a fine line between letting go and letting him get away with it, but it sounds like you made a wise choice. Making things easier is no doubt adding years to your life! I'm glad Marcia left you a part of her legacy.
    3204 days ago
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