Thursday, October 20, 2016

Empathy is the Word of the Day

Lunch with my youngest girl yesterday provided one of those moments where your heart breaks and melts at the same time. The feeling of pride and regret can live simultaneously in the moment but the combination had us both in tears. 

We were discussing her dinner the previous night with my oldest girl and their dad (the Secret Keeper). They had planned ahead and my girl had texted him to reinforce where dinner was but he ended up in the wrong place again. They finally got him to the correct restaurant and had a nice dinner but she expressed to me that he was just a little off. Medications for mental illness are powerful, necessary and not always user friendly. He tries so hard to be that goofy, joking and loving father that once was so easy for him but is work, very hard work these days.  As she and I talked, we both recognized that his effort made us feel pity.....and how pity doesn't help anyone!!!  I never want to be pitied and feel certain that there are better ways to handle my feelings for him. I know that empathy is the way to go but empathy requires somehow reaching out. And reaching out gets very complicated.

I asked her straight out if she thought an invite to Thanksgiving would be more harmful than good. With tears in her eyes, she asked me if she could have Thanksgiving at her house with her dad and siblings and if we could get together on another day. She also asked if the Boy Scout (my new love) would help her make the dinner as he loves to cook.

HOLY SHIT, I was so touched by her asking me that. She looked at the situation and realized that, above all else, this man needed to be loved and included with his family on this holiday. She also seemed to feel confident that I and my Boy Scout could handle it.  We CAN!! With love in my heart that feels fabulous and achy at the same time, I knew that we could occupy ourselves for a day while my children's dad could have the day with his kids. My girl is even inviting Sophie, the dog, so he could spend some time with her. 

My heart is full.

4 comments:

  1. You, Linda, are awesome. So many people would turn this into a family brouhaha. Instead, you are doing what is right, good and honourable. xo

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    1. Thanks Birdie....I am trying hard to be better :)

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  2. Replies
    1. Thank you Colette. Much appreciated♥

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