Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A Gift

I haven't seen my parents in nearly a year. 
It was my choice to take a break from interacting with them, as I try to continue healing from CSA and 2 rapes as an adult.
I finally ran out of strength and energy to try and get them to understand my pain, and the things I needed from them.
I didn't stop loving them or wanting their approval. 
What I am learning is that I can love them in all their imperfection, and that their not understanding doesn't equal not loving me.

Last night my daughter had dinner with them and took my Christmas gift to them. My hope was that it would be a way for me help them see me -- who I really am. I put a basket together filled with significant things from my life, and I enclosed a letter explaining each item.



Dear Mother and Daddy,

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year all rolled into one!

This year I have decided to do a joint gift for you. It is a basket filled with things I love and want to share with you. This note is an explanation of each item.

Mother, this shawl is for you. It is made of 100% recycled cotton yarn. When I first returned to crocheting a few years ago, I was determined to learn to read patterns, and this is the first shawl I made using a pattern. I have kept it because I loved it so much, and now I want you to have it. The colors make me think of you. You may wear it or use it as a table linen. I hope you enjoy it. (It can be machine washed on a cold delicate cycle, and then laid flat to dry.)

Daddy, the prayer beads are for you. I have always been intrigued by prayer beads, and as I have worked on healing I have found them to be very helpful in keeping me centered in moments of panic or stress. I have included instructions on how to use them, along with a prayer from Julian of Norwich. Turquoise is one of my favorite stones to work with, and I hope you will enjoy using them or just looking at them and thinking of me. (If you are interested in more information on using them, I have some books you could look at. Feel free to email me about them.)

The remaining items are for you to share:

Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals is a devotional book that I have been using for a couple of years now. It is based on The Book of Common Prayer, but has been modernized and simplified. Each day provides a message, readings from the Old and New Testaments and Psalms, as well as a hymn (all in the back of the volume) and then providing an opportunity to pray for others. I frequently look the hymns up on YouTube and listen to them as I read. This particular volume has opened my eyes to a greater understanding of God’s love for all people, and helped me widen my world view.

"The Ghost on the Canvas" is Glen Campbell’s final cd. He has retired since being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Campbell has always been one of my favorites. I feel as if I grew up listening to him, along with the Lettermen, and Jimmie Driftwood, among others. Anyway, I have found this cd to be very moving both musically and lyrically. I hope you both enjoy it as well.

First Watch (gift certificate) is a new restaurant in town. I know how much you enjoy going out to eat, and I always enjoy sharing new places with you. The restaurant serves breakfast and lunch until 2:30, no dinner. The food is lovely! Wonderful eggs, waffles, pancakes, sandwiches, and soups. I hope you get a chance to try it, and let me know what you think.

Finally, the basket is from SERRV.org. They are a fair trade organization, and I like the hands on quality of their items, as well as knowing the gift serves a dual purpose. Of course, my theory is you can never have too many baskets!

I want you both to know that I appreciate this time you are giving to me to work on healing, and I look forward to continuing to improve and deepen our relationship. I love you both very much.

Blessings

My daughter said they seemed pleased and touched. I have felt good about this gift for them. I investigated my motivations. I had close friends read the letter. I felt happy with what I had done. 

But now after it is all said and done, I'm not sure what I feel. I am glad that they received it well. I know that I can't control their reactions, and I know that one gift does not heal the past. I want it to be a point of moving forward. I want to get to a place where I can be physically present with them, and be glad to be there. I don't want them to hurt, but I don't want to hurt anymore either.

And so, once again, I hand it over to God. I pray for guidance. I pray for peace. And I remind myself that real life is messy, and looks nothing like a Hallmark Christmas card.



1 comment:

  1. So grateful to have found you through Imperfect Prose. This is so honest and filled with love -- the real, imperfect, grace-filled kind. What thought and intention placed into each gift while still maintaining the boundaries you need for healing. May God bless you in deep, still and abundant ways, and Merry Christmas.

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