knick-knacks as reminders

September 3, 2012 | 51 Comments

zebra toy

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  • http://smokysweet.com Degan

    I didn’t speak to my mom for 7 years. Then one day I decided to call her. I don’t know what your situation is but I decided that I should give her the benefit of the doubt and that maybe all the cruel judgemental crap she dealt me was the best she could do. She shows her love in weird ways now that I would never recognize if I wasn’t looking out for them (or any possibility of them) and it’s often more work than reward but I know she’s trying really hard and so I try really hard too.

    • Shannon

      You mentioned this when we hung out, Degan and I was impacted by it. I love this, “…it’s often more work than reward but I know she’s trying really hard and so I try really hard too.” It’s so full of love.

      Thanks for sharing your story with me.

  • http://bellejarblog.wordpress.com Annabelle

    Oh man this is so fantastic. I love that you keep this zebra, even though the lessons (and people) it reminds you of aren’t necessarily happy ones.

    I haven’t really spoken to my father in about two years (and he’s never met Theo). This post hit home really hard.

    And, of course, it’s beautifully and intelligently written <3

    • Shannon

      Such amazing words from someone whose writing and spirit I have quickly come to admire.

      Sounds like we’d have some things to chat about over coffee. Wish it were possible!

  • http://jadeluxe.wordpress.com Jade

    I know this isn’t really the point of this post. But I hate dusting so much, I only do it when it builds up into a white blanket. And I do it with a tissue.

    • Shannon

      It’s TOTALLY the point. Dusting is the hatedest. Ug. I’m glad to hear I’m not alone.

  • Lynne

    I no longer speak to my family and this time I think it’s for keeps. Since I moved away from Toronto 10 years ago things have became increasingly tenuous. We’d speak, then have a horrible fight that would absolutely tear my soul to shreds…then not speak for months before I’d get suckered back into attempting some form of relationship with them…then we’d have a horrible fight, etc. Lather/rinse/repeat-type of thing. When my last attempt at being part of the family blew up devastatingly in my face earlier this year my friends staged an actual intervention and advised me that enough was enough. That I should allow myself to mourn the loss if I needed to, but that ultimately it would be healthier if I just severed this completely dysfunctional relationship from my life and moved on. I guess it’s just heartening to read that others have been through similar and eventually did re-connect. I don’t hold out much hope that my mother will ever expend enough effort to try and make things work–she’s much more comfortable playing the victim and denying being in any way responsible for our estrangement–but who knows. Perhaps one day I’ll feel strong enough to pick up the phone. Right now it’s still all about self-preservation :(

    • Shannon

      Oh, Lynne. Wow. This sounds SO similar to my experience. “We’d speak, then have a horrible fight that would absolutely tear my soul to shreds…then not speak for months before I’d get suckered back into attempting some form of relationship with them…then we’d have a horrible fight, etc. Lather/rinse/repeat-type of thing.” I could have written that. Thank you for sharing this with me. For being brave enough to share it here. I’ve met people with similar stories to mine and yours over the years, who also made the hard call to take a break. It’s not easy, that’s for sure. And it’s not widely accepted as an option. “Family is forever!” I’m sure you’ve heard it all, too.

      We really need to connect. Our hearts already have. <3

      • Lynne

        Ohhhh yes–I am well familiar with the whole “You have to love them, they are your FAMILY!” stance :) Most people who have great (or at least workable) relationships with their own families tend to hold this view. I don’t begrudge them that for a second, but I think it’s unhealthy to hold onto things that hurt us just because prevailing wisdom says we should. I’m lucky and glad that my close friends recognized what it was doing to me and were supportive of a break. And YES–we need to hang out. Immediately soon.

        :)

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