Monday, February 24, 2020

As The Twig Is Bent So Grows The Tree

Sitting at my table, looking out the window, family gatherings and everyday events come to mind.

No, my  son, I could  not sell this house; not now; not yet and not then -- when you told me how wrong I was about "keeping it" after Dad passed.

With all its challenges as it ages, like I am also doing, it is a comfort, a haven of memories and peace of mind. 

Yes, there have been several times when I could have used "your" help but I would never ask you as the price I have to pay isn't worth the cost.

We've stumbled, we've even fallen along the way but through it all I had your sister, my daughter, and when I've asked, your brother, there to guide, to care and to understand it is my life, still, while I can and am willing to live it in ways you do not comprehend.

You have chosen to walk another path, one of distance and eventual complete separation. That is your choice. It is not how you lived, it is not how we taught.

To you,  it's a "big" house and needs repairs and so much more. 

To me, it's a respite, a hope and a future without having to give up,  give in and try to hold on for dear life -- been there, done that not just since you were born but many years before with my Mother supporting, caring and "there" for me, for us.

I admit, without your sister continuing to be a part of my life I would not be financially able or capable. But you would not be able to provide for your family of five if your wife wasn't working and you didn't have a good job. In your way you also work together to gain and retain what you want, what you need.

We all make decisions; we live lives we choose with parts that are given and parts that are taken.

Looking out the window I see the towering Oak tree that once was a twig cut from your Grandfather's Oak in the home they lived in as long as we have now, placed in water, allowed to root and then planted in our yard; a symbol of continuity, of family and of the love we had for one another -- especially now that all of them are no longer with us.

Your father planted it after asking me where I'd like for it to be. He's been gone several years now; 

the tree reminds me of him, of us, of then and of now.

I chose far enough away from the house where it would get sunlight and have room to grow to its potential-- now almost twice the height of our house.

This wasn't our first home; it was the fourth one you called home. So fortunate and privileged were we all to build this dream, carve out this space to grow our lives and shelter our extended family along the way.

We moved as Dad moved up the corporate ladder and then to this place where we chose to spend so many years learning, growing, working -- together.

It was a little bit of a reach but it gave us what we valued -- a yard back and front where you and your siblings spent time, each of us had our own room including Grandma who came to live with us when you were two months old and moved with us around the country before settling here.

It was and is HOME.  It was and is MEMORIES.

And, I, my son, am like my Mother, with whom you spent your life as we did ours; you grew from a small baby into a grown man and benefited along the way from three adults loving you, caring about you and providing for you -- and your siblings--even when we should have said "enough" and "no, we can't.

If we believed it was beneficial; we found a way. And that was for each, in their own way, as one received, so did the others. 

There were no "favorites", none was provided for beyond others, and that included our short time being Guardians for your Uncle's grand-daughter.

As the twig is bent, so grows the tree....but the tree that is moved to another location also responds to where it is moved...and that can affect the shape, height, even the way the tree responds to the elements around it.

You chose and choose to make choices every day. 

Perhaps you'll reach your full maturity some day and recognize how important it is to bend, to move "with" and not against the winds that blow. 

Perhaps you have in some ways in your personal and professional life; now it's time to adjust, to understand life is more than just what surrounds you every day.

Someday I will leave this house. It will continue in some form, perhaps another shape, definitely another owner -- hopefully your sister as that is our plan.

The Seasons are changing. Soon Spring will arrive. Some days already show signs of warming and new growth and development from animals to plants.

When will you change, my son? 
When will you have the courage to reconnect? 

I have the memories but it's not the same. 

It's been your decision to disconnect yourself and your children.

It is not what you were taught; it is not how you were raised.

I continue to walk my life's path. 
I make decisions and plan.

Looking out the window at the tree I see new growth.

I hope someday soon to see new growth beyond where I can look everyday.