Saturday, 14 September 2013


My daughter Kate has hit me with a card again. Actually she has given me a prompt card for every Wednesday and a prayer card for every Sunday. I open the cards, think about them, and then write, sometimes. The cards were a Christmas gift, one for each week until Christmas comes again. This year I will get through them all.

Her card for this week asked about what my parents had done that made me angry and what they had done that made me grateful. It's an interesting question, exploring how I feel about my parents. Yet beneath it is a challenging assumption, the assumption that you should be angry at your parents for what they have done, the assumption that I, of all people, am in a position to judge the quality of my parents actions.

You see, I find nothing in what my parents have done that makes me angry. I have lived long enough, seen enough in that life, and had my own children for enough time to realize that my parents, through good and bad, were and are as human as the rest of us. They did what they did because they did it, and it is not for me to judge it in any way. They, with all the failings and frailties of humanity, did their best and did what they thought was right. Through immense struggle and difficulty, they created a life where I could grow, learn and become who I am today.

I have no right to hold any anger; my parents owed me nothing once I was past childhood, and even in childhood owed me only the care, both physical and emotional, that would see me to adulthood. Everything else was a gift, a free donation. I as born, fed, clothed, loved and made free. Everything else in life pales when compared with that; nothing is worth anger when compared with that.

On the other hand, I am grateful for everything they did for me, for that which they did was done willingly, not through compulsion or law, not through requirement or demand, but simply because they knew what they had to do. Where they could give little, they gave as they could. Where they could give much, they gave as they could. This giving did not stop when I left home. This giving goes on to this day.

At a certain age you come to see this, that your parents are struggling through life just as much as you are, that they are making decisions by the seat of their pants, just the way you are. I have no right to anger. My parents owe me nothing; they have already given me everything they can and for that I am grateful. They gave me life. I owe them everything, yet can give them so little. Perhaps they should be angry with me.

1 comment:

  1. Lovely Richard thank you and I will never be angry with you.. you have been a good son.