MUSHY'S MOOCHINGS: MY SINS COME BACK TO HAUNT ME

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

MY SINS COME BACK TO HAUNT ME

The sin of pride has separated me, to a degree, from my son and my granddaughter. His mother and I divorced when he was only four years old and his loss still cuts me to the core.

My son’s mother and I have long since forgiven each other for the mutual pain we inflected, and we have moved on with our lives and found wonderful people with which to share our lives. However, my pain remains.

I missed so much in his early life, and just in the last few years regained some since of a relationship with him. Oh, I hung on the fence and watched him play, made pinewood derby cars with him, picked him up each Friday afternoon, and watched him graduate numerous times, but the little things is what I missed. I missed birthday parties, watching him mature, watching him interact with his friends, and things he did vocally and with the youth at his church. I missed his friends and girlfriends seeing me as “his dad.”

Oh, people know I am his father, but they do not know me and accept me as part of his life. I am an outsider, whether I have caused it or not, I am still not comfortable in certain aspects of his life. His world is a separate world from mine. It is probably just me. I have never wanted to horn in where I am not invited. I cannot change what is in me – it would take years on a “leather tufted couch” to overcome the personally held mores I have built up over the years.

I ache to see him sometimes, or to hear from him, yet, because it is in me to be this way, I cannot, at times, force myself into his life. I have no clue why not…it is just the way I am.

I ache to see my granddaughter too, but I really do not know my son or my daughter-in-law well enough to just drop in, or invite myself over as often as I would like. Instead, I make appointments to see her, and yes, to see him.

I sat yesterday trying to drink in as much of their faces, their smell, their movements as possible, but as soon as I left the memory began to fade. I know I take too many photos when I am there, but it is an attempt not to forget and to hold part of them close to me longer.

I will always pay the price for letting my failure take them away.

What Mushy gives back to you today is work at it! You lose a whole lot more than a woman, your things, and your money – you lose the closeness of children and grandchildren and involvement in their lives for a lifetime.

One thing has gotten me through the tough times - I thank God for Tracy and Katie Bug (my stepdaughter and older granddaughter). They have been God’s blessing on me and they have filled a void in my soul. They make it possible for me to bide my time between visits.

20 comments:

EC said...

Maybe they feel the same way? Maybe they want you in their life just as much but feel like you are inaccesible in some way. Maybe you should say EXACTLY what you just said to us, but to them???

Fathairybastard said...

Wow, this is a surprise. From looking at the pictures you post here and at Flickr one would think you two are as close as any father and son could be. Does your family read this thing? They should. I don't know what the hell to tell you buddy, other than to say that regret seems to be one of the basic building blocks of life. We all live with it in one way or another. You never know when you're young and angry that there's a price you could pay for the rest of your life for what you did or didn't do, and you can't be held accountable now, accept by yourself. At least you shouldn't be. Hell, you didn't even think you were gonna get old back then, or how soon it would begin to happen. There's no tellin' what yer son thinks about this. I'm assuming that his step dad was a decent guy who raised him well.

I tell ya, my dad was there every day but we might as well have been on the other side of the planet from one another most of the time. Raised in completely different worlds and times, we were completely different people with very little in common, and lived in the same house for decades. I can remember lots of times as an angry kid when I wished he wasn't there, but now we're both old and I'm watching him slowly drift away, and it's inconceivable that he's the same guy, or that I'm the same guy who was that pissed off kid. I find myself wishing all the time for a redo, but dad's got a great saying for those times... Wish in one hand and shit in the other and see which hand fills up first. Now there's old time country wisdom for ya.

Your son loves you in the way he can, and you obviously do the same. There's nothin' else ether of you can do. It's one of the most profound relationships of your life, and there not a damn thing you can do now to make it different accept show one another unconditional love and support, which I'm sure you're doing as much as you can. So, stop beatin' yourself up, but continue to dispense the wisdom or your vast age and experience. (Or is it age and vast experience?) We all love to read about your life, and enjoy the way you weave a sentimental tale together without seeming too sentimental. At least I do. The legacy of long decades of distance between my father and I has been my constant search in life for older male examples to try to guide myself by. I tell ya, it's been a regretful search. Turns out everyone at one time or another is ether a great buddy or a complete asshole. Makes us human I guess. You have to cherry pick one quality from one guy and another quality from another, and try to be true to yourself as much as you can.You seem from my standpoint to be a pretty smart guy, pretty wise from life's passage. A rich man in terms of family, friends, and life's bounty. I'm completely envious of all that you do have, so stop kickin' yourself for what didn't happen. You can't have everything for Christ's sake.

Jose said...

After fathairybastard's comment there's not much I want to tell you other than who do you think you are making me cry. OK maybe not cry but you got me all chocked up. Count your blessings, it could have been worse than it is and I'm sure your son loves you. The next time you are thanking God for Tracy and Katie don't forget to include your other granddaugher and son. Peace.

Goddess said...

Are you talking about Corey in this post, or do you have another son? Because like FHB said you seem close to Corey.

Mushy said...

EC - I have and he reads this but not frequently.

FHB - My "vast age!" Thanks. Really thanks, you have great insight into these things and I always look forward to your interpretation of what I write.

JOSE - Oh, I do pray for and thank God nightly for them all and for all my many blessings. Thanks.

GODDESS - It is Corey and we are close when we are together, but it's just that we don't have a close family unit relationship. I'm working on it and so is he. You have to understand that there is a wife who don't know me well, and EX wives involved that make the relationship strained. I have to consider all feelings in every situation.

My son and I love each other very much, let that be known. It's just that we only get together once or twice a month, and neither of us feel free enough to just drop by like I do my mom. Telling someone they are free to do that and getting them to overcome their inter fears is another.

Marie said...

Words of wisdom. I have five kids at home, and I am hearing you.

Michele said...

What a great and emotional post. My hubby and I are raising two g/kids and are trying to be there for them since either parent can't/won't. The only thing anyone can do is take it one day at a time and not fret over what 'might have been' but concentrate on 'what can be now'.

Castaway said...

wow... based (not only) on this post and your comment regarding the dog you had to put out of misery, you've lived a full life... ups and downs, but it looks like you get that it's "all good" in the end...

keep kickin' a**, man!

Fathairybastard said...

Somethin' to think about. It occurs to me that my relationship with my dad really blossomed when he and I both got a bit older and I left home and saw a bit more of the world. I began to feel his need for a closer relationship as he got older and I drifted away, working around the world, teaching on the ships. I was never around, calling home from time to time from exotic locals. What they say about absence making the heart grow fonder, as it were? Maybe the distance that you feel from your son is simply the fact that he is still young and very busy, and doesn't feel the need in his life right now for a closer relationship. He probably thinks he has a close enough relationship with you. Maybe he has someone else who fills that close fatherly role for him that you yearn for, and the best you can do now is be buddies. May just be the way the dice were rolled man. I would bet good money though that as he gets older, and his kids get older, and you get EVEN OLDER, (sorry, I couldn't stop myself) the relationship that the two of you have will evolve into something more like the one you wish for. Whatever you do, don't do anything to piss off his mother. There ain't NOTHIN' like the bond between a guy and his momma. That I can assure you.

Kuanyin said...

Congrats on your award! Glad you liked it!

The Everywhere Girl

Mary said...

Heartfelt post and one with an important message for those who care to hear. I'm a huge believer in karma or what we put out we reap.
You, me, everyone..makes errors in judgment..mistakes..it's a large part of what living life is all about. The trick and question is, do we allow ourselves to learn from them..if and when we do finally 'get' it..do we share that lesson with others?

You pass all counts with flying colors. Your life is not over..the future may yet hold the relationship and comfort around one another you long for.

Believe.

Mushy said...

This might sound "mushy", but I love my blogger friends...I've collected a wonderful bunch of folks.

Thank you for you comments and support.

I'm here too.

服從到只一 A.K.A: Sugar Cat said...

Very endearing post Mushy! My heart is with you, but FHB put it perfect indeed!

I feel for you, as I and my 3 beautiful children have experienced a similar loss. You have the right thought process... as much as it hurts that you weren't there to see and be a part of the little things, you are there now and I'm sure you thank God for these moments.

Revel in the one to two times a month visits. Make the most of it as you do already.

Your heart is in the right place, thanking God for Tracy and Katie. You are a wonderful man, and most importantly a wonderful father, step father and grandfather.

BRUNO said...

Can't give any "expert" advice on this subject. However, I guess I can say, at least your son doesn't put on a false-face of respect, only to tear it off later, and toss it aside. Or at least it doesn't appear that way, given what little I know about a personal situation. And that's the way I work the best: By keepin' my nose where it belongs---right here on MY side of the screen! "Advise only when asked to"! Besides, YOU know where we are, if needed.....

Mushy said...

I have enjoyed this my friends - thanks to all.

I know you are there, on your side of the screen, sight unseen, very mysterious, but known well enough to be thankful for you all.

Becky said...

It's interesting seeing your perspective on your situation, for I'm in your son's shoes with my own dad (my step-dad was "dad"). Even if you aren't comfortable with telling your son all this, I give you credit for realizing that it might be awkward to insert yourself without being asked (unlike my dad).

Chrissy121875 said...

That was a beautiful post, Mushy :) As much as I'd always been told that "Life is short...don't dwell on the bad stuff...you never know what may happen tomorrow", I never really understood all that before my dad had a heart attack and a stroke in the same year.

As much as one wishes to return to the past and relive things a different way...all the missing out on important events and even every day events, we can't change what's happened. I really enjoyed reading your post. What a wonderful blog :)

Patrick Joubert Conlon said...

A similar thing happened to me, Mushy. My ex remarried when my son was 4 and cut me out of his life. When he was 16 his mother sent him to live with me because he was a problem. I thought we got on fine but I soon found out that he blamed me for his problems and he cannot forgive me for leaving his mom to this day and he's already 34.

Rebecca said...

Just got back to reading your responses on this post. I keep forgetting that you've been married before. I was thinking Corey was your son with your present wife.

Mushy said...

Goddess - Corey belongs to my first wife - Tracy belongs to my current wife, although, I've been around since she was 14, so she feels like mine, and I could not love Katie any more if she were blood. They are both mine.