I don’t think my parents or grandparents were particularly bad people. Broken, sure. But not bad.
I’ve come to believe we got where we are more or less by accident. This is not some sort of theological declaration; I just mean I don’t think anybody set out to screw up. I don’t think my parents or grandparents were particularly bad people. Broken, sure. But not bad.
My mother grew up in a family of displaced farm people. My grandfather left his job as a traveling sales agent to work the land my grandmother came to own when she was widowed. They lost the farm. Then, when they moved to depression-era Jacksonville, Florida, it seems like they simply lost their way. I know my grandfather worked hard but I don’t think he never found a path back to where he knew which way was up. They were off balance and they never recovered, financially or otherwise.
My grandmother was frustrated to death by the whole thing. Literally, perhaps. She died too soon. Afraid, angry, disappointed; one night she lost heart. We got the call in the middle of the night and drove downstate to grieve with mother’s people.
My father’s parents died young and in great pain. His mother was rippedfrom this life delivering him and his brother into the world. A couple of years later, his father was killed by an appalling bacterial disease. Their older sisters and brothers raised the twins.
Honestly, in what perfect world of yesterday would my parents have learned to raise offspring? Why would my father know the first thing about being a good father? At whose knee could my mother have learned the nurturing arts? They did the best they could.
from Raising Adults by Jim Hancock