Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Just Another Can of Worms

Every time I find myself needing to forgive someone it's that much harder than the time before.  Why is this so?  Is it the next step on the ladder that I've been climbing all my life.  Well, I'd like to go back a rung or two and see how I would do if I had to do the easier ones again.  This one's tough!

There has been a situation that I was feeling badly about.  I knew I had to speak with the person I was involved in the situation with, so I could find some resolution.  Instead of talking face to face or even on the phone, the opportunity came to chat online.  As I look back, I wish I had taken a different mode of communication, but alas, what's done is done.  To be honest, at this point, I'm not sure if it would have made any difference.

Since I've known this person for nigh on twenty years, I thought the feelings behind my words and that I meant no harm would be understood.  Knowing that this person is rather volatile, I thought I was choosing my words with great care, but within two sentences of our chat, it was clear that I had not chosen them carefully enough.  I had come across all wrong, and the words that came back to me soon became angry and resentful.  It was clear that I had come across as mean and ungrateful.  So NOT my intention.  Ugh!  What to do?  I quickly apologized and backed out of the conversation.

I finally ended up getting in touch with the person's spouse on the phone and ironing things out.  I felt much better.  Until I opened my email a few minutes later.

Q was sitting next to me, and I opened an email that called me more ugly things than I think I've ever been called in my life...combined.  Woah!  That was totally unexpected!  I read two sentences, realized that Q was reading too, and quickly closed it and threw it in the trash.  I didn't know I had come across that badly.  In the email, I was asked to reread our chat, it was lovingly attached to the email, and I was to reanalyze how I had come across.  As I reread, I realized that had that person really been my friend and come from it from the angle that I care and didn't want there to be a problem, there would have been no wrong interpretation, but coming from the other side of that coin, my words could have come across as rude and ungrateful.  I was sad to know that they were being read by someone who didn't know me at all.

I wrote back one short email stating that I was sorry I had come across that way.

After Q was out of the room, I opened it again.  I wish I hadn't.  It flavored the way I feel about this person and caused me to think that this person has had these feelings building up for awhile.  Wow!  Did I open a can of worms!  Funny because I've never felt any of that in return.

I feel sad that it was expected that I was trying to be "mean."  There was no benefit of the doubt.  There was no trying to figure out the feeling behind the words--just an immediate judgment that that's what I was out to do.  When, in reality, I meant nothing of the sort.  I learned a few years back that we think that others see life through the same eyes we do.  We know no other lens, so we assume that everyone we come in contact with interprets life as we do.  SAD!  On both our parts--I was equally to blame for this.  From my lens, I like to assume that no one's out to "get me," but that others mean well and only have everyone's best interest at heart.

This is a person who is continually saying, "Don't judge me."  Funny thing is, when the email was again tossed in the trash, that's all I felt--judged.  I don't think I feel that way very often.

You know, it's funny, my first inclination is to not want to talk to this person again. I want to punish and withhold my love, but inside I know that's not the right thing to do.  I'm pretty sure that no matter how I had confronted this person in regard to the initial problem, it would have been taken as an attack.

I need to add another element to this story.  A number of weeks ago, I was contacted by this person, and we spoke very candidly about a number of things.  Because of this conversation, I felt that I could really address any subject and trust and be trusted.  Shortly after this, I was made aware that the most private part of what I had shared had been shared with someone we both know mutually.  UGH!!!  You must know, I'm not one who trusts very many people and this, to me, was a HUGE breech of trust.

The reason I address this now is that I'm trying to wrap my brain and heart around how best to forgive and move on.  This person has proven to me that there is no friendship there.  I need to reassess how to deal with this person especially since we will be seeing each other this weekend, and it is unavoidable.  If I could, I'd give myself a little more time to really be able to forgive and figure out where I fit.

I'm writing this here because I can't speak to this person and trust that I'll be understood for what I mean.  I would probably just make things worse, and that's a terrible feeling.  I feel a little trapped.

I have no problem being courteous.  I will be myself because I realize that it was never my intention to hurt and be rude, and I have apologized for what I felt I could.  This is not a person I cannot avoid forever.  I know over time things will improve.  There will never be trust there again, but is that part of truly forgiving someone too?  Am I withholding true forgiveness by not burying everything and moving on?  Can I really love someone if I don't trust that person?  I'd love some input, so I can work this out soon.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Took Q in for her sports physical yesterday.  This is the second time the topic of the HPV immunization has come up.  Had a very interesting conversation with our Catholic pediatrician, and I learned something about my own beliefs about people that I'd never really contrasted with anyone else's before.

We talked about where the HPV virus comes from.  It became quite clear our differing stances on pre-marital sex.  I know I am definitely in the minority on this issue.  She sides with the majority.

The topic of good vs. evil came up.  I made a comment using the word "wicked" in it.  She grabbed onto that and I noticed that she said something later referring to "wicked" people.  This opened a conversation about how I don't think people are wicked.  I think we're all born good, but it's our raising and our choices that make us into who we are.  I also shared with her that I believe that anyone can change.  We're not wicked, it's what we choose that is wicked.  Repentance is always possible.

So, I'm very torn on the whole HPV thing.  Anybody have any opinions about this one?  I have left this in Q's hands.  It's her choice, and the doctor tried to persuade her in every way she knew how, but Q didn't take the bait.

Sunday, June 27, 2010


DJ just shared with me that the word "school" is really an acronym for "Seven crappy hours of our lives."

So, nice not to have to worry about S.C.H.O.O.L. for the next couple months.  So, what lies ahead?  Next to NOTHING!  Yay!!!

Soccer, cross-country practice (to get in shape for soccer), a retreat for Z, Cub scout day camp for B, high adventure for G, finishing statistics by the end of August for me (yep, you heard that right--woohoo!), the Hamm family reunion at the end of July, and other than that, trips to the library, free movies at the theatre in the mornings a couple times a week, an occasional trip to the zoo or OMSI, and just hanging with the kids enjoying every second of having them around.

AHHH summer, don't you just love it?

S.U.M.M.E.R.--Some Uninterrupted Marvelous Months of Emotional Relaxation

Much is Given

Last year, on the last Sunday in June, I was having heart problems while at church which took me to the maternity ward.  By evening, I was induced and having a baby.  Woah!  That can't have been a year ago.

Q had just returned from Girls' Camp the day before, and G was heading to Scout Camp early the next morning.  It's just amazing to me how fast time is passing by.

Before last year, June 28th held no special meaning to me.  Now, I will never forget it or November 11th, October 4th or 10th, September 4th, December 28th, or January 3rd.  When I was a child, I never knew there would be special days marked in my life by special people whom I would help create.  Wow!  What a concept!  How very blessed I feel.  What a huge job lies before me and is my everyday reality. 

Where much is given, much is required.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Looking at Life Differently

Tonight I had the opportunity to listen to this man...

His name is Alter Wiener.  Behind him is an image of himself shortly after he was rescued from a Nazi concentration camp by Russian soldiers on May 9, 1945.

This man, by sharing his story--the experience of losing all 123 members of his immediate family during the Holocaust, his survival of five different concentration camps, and the torture and terror he endured--saves lives.

Tonight, he changed the lens through which I see life.  I came home, and the first thing I did was peek in on my sleeping baby.  The one who was told in her blessing that she would "see much in this life."  Those words are daunting.  I am concerned for what she will see with those sweet blue eyes.  My hope is that she will never see what this man, Alter Wiener, has seen.

The other thing I felt strongly from his message was the importance of writing.  He has written a book about his experiences.  He shared with us tonight that we were his 617th presentation.  What courage this must take!  I felt proud of him for revisiting his experiences over and over again that others could benefit from his experiences.

He is now 84 years old.  He said he is one of the youngest of those who have survived.  How sad it is that my youngest children will never get to hear a first-hand account of one who experienced such tragedy.  Sad, because they will never feel the urgency to keep these kinds of experiences from ever happening again.

I felt that although my life is mundane and relatively easy, I also owe it to my children and grandchildren to write and share my story.  There are things they can learn from my failures and successes.

I'm so grateful for this courageous man.  This is one of the last things he shared this evening.  I thought it was worth sharing here:

First they came for the Jews
and I did not speak out--
because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the communists
and I did not speak out--
because I was not a communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Catholics
and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me--
and by that time no one was left to speak up. 

                                                                         --Rev. Martin Niemoller

Good for him for speaking up; for sharing his story.  Now, if I can only be so brave.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Soccer Season Gone Awry

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