Monday, October 05, 2009

Last nights sunset. A wonderful greeting home from God

10/5/09 Monday
It’s good to be home, but things aren’t just the same. Oh, I’ll get back into the routine of building this farm but my thoughts are on my dad and family now. There is so much I wonder about in my insecurity. How did I appear to them? What do they really think of me? Was I able to dispel wrong concepts they had? Hell, I don’t even know what concepts they have so there may not even be any wrong ones. Overall it seems to have gone well. I asked Robin if I did ok and she uncomfortably told me “Yes”. I’m sure the question in and of itself was putting her on the spot and caused the discomfort.

So the task of restoration continues. When it comes to my brother there is something going on. Anytime I mentioned trying to talk to him everyone stiffened up. As long as no one talks things don’t get better. I wish I knew what their perception of this is, what has been said by him. I tried to talk to Larry but he ran and pretty much shut down every attempt. He did mention this blog regarding that. To the best of my knowledge there isn’t a word in it that isn’t the truth but that doesn’t mean there can’t be errors. One of the things I hoped to convey is that a common problem with traumatic brain injuries and the memory loss that goes with it is that the TBI survivors must try to fill in the gaps of memory and often comes up with memories that aren’t accurate in doing so. You can read about this in the survivor’s stories on the LA Publishing link on this blog. So I could well be wrong in many of my conceptions of what happened. The problem is that if no one talks to me and shows me these errors I have no way of correcting them. My interest is in the truth, seeking and learning what it is in all areas, not just my own life.

I can so understand the awkwardness of this weekend. One thing I acknowledge is that a man reaps what he sows so most of this is my fault, the result of a lifetime of errors and mistakes. I can’t blame anyone for this but myself. Many people have the habit of blaming others for the mistakes they make and often look for someone else to place the blame on, denying their own culpability. I try not to do this and accept my mistakes, not hiding or running from responsibility. But the flip side is that I expect others to have that kind of honesty and perhaps that’s not reasonable? So in trying to navigate these psychological relationship pitfalls and not trigger negative reactions I must let others maintain their perspective, I suppose. This is where forgiveness comes in. This is where forgiveness becomes the key to unity and restoration. To not to call someone out on a wrong, to not demand honesty, perhaps that is what’s necessary. It’s been 8 years now since I woke from the coma and I am still learning social skills.

So I hope and pray that I made a good impression and that my family is beginning to learn who I really am. I didn’t put on a front for them, I don’t put on a front or false image for anyone. But I did try hard to not cause a problem and say things without thinking them through. There is such sadness here. My dad has died and my mom lost her husband of over forty years. So it’s not all about me. Everyone there lost a dad or friend. Mom held up pretty well, all things considered. She said she was glad to see me and wished it was under better circumstances. There’s the sadness, or at least one of them. We had just started the journey to reconciliation between me and my family when my dad died. But I have received grace in that, because I was blessed with a letter and a short phone call from dad before he passed. That means so much to me.

Mom asked what size shoe I wore and then my shirt size. Much of what my dad wore will fit me so she asked if I would like any of his clothes. I wasn’t sure what to do. I didn’t want to be anything like what I’d seen in my grandmother’s relatives, who’s greed for things drove them to ransack this house and steal what they could even before she was dead. That disgusts me still. But I didn’t want to seem ungrateful. I’m so worried about how I’m perceived that it ties me up some. But dad had nice clothes and his tastes are very much like mine except I prefer button up shirts. I suppose as I get older and working buttons get harder that will change. So I was grateful for the gifts of clothes and shoes. My personality is such that I won’t take something, even if it’s nice, if I won’t use it. Some people just take because they can and end up with tons of things that never get used. I was honest with mom and told her I wouldn’t wear all the shoes but knowing she had closets full of stuff she needed to find a home for offered to take what I won’t use to our church or a ministry that distributes to the poor.

What she gave me that has the deepest value to me is my dad’s watch. It’s not an expensive watch, just a nice Timex, but it was my dad’s. I didn’t have a watch and had looked at getting one before so it’s something I’ll wear and use all the time. What makes it valuable to me is that every time I check the time it will remind me of my father. I have a silver dollar on my key ring that belonged to my grandfather that does the same thing. It provides a link to them, a path to a memory, and provides a sense of closeness that I had always desired for with my dad.

Dad’s hobby was building and flying radio controlled airplanes. This is another area of common interest that we could have pursued together once we reunited. Mom offered the planes to dad’s friend who shared this passion with him. I asked her to show me the planes so she took me out to the garage. There was a P-51 Mustang just like the one I had started to build before I had the wreck. Looking at it and the other planes just amplified the sense of loss. As much as I would have liked to have them and would thrill to fly these planed dad built I didn’t dare ask. Again I don’t want to appear greedy or come off wrong. Besides I had heard her offer the planes to dad’s friend at the funeral so it wouldn’t be right. I think I’ll ask my sister for the friends name and address and offer to buy them from him. I think that would be politically correct but am not sure. It would be sweet to have them. I would make a runway here on the farm and have 80 acres of land to fly them over. And each time I would think of dad.

I have a farm to build and it’s the first day back so enough writing. We did come back to a tick infestation. I suppose eggs hatched while we were gone. There were ticks all over, crawling up the wall even. So we stripped the beds, vacuumed everything, sprayed the dogs, and sprayed the carpets. There’s always lots that needs to get done. I have to harvest Basil seeds before the birds and ants get them and…well tons of other things. So bye now. Thanks for your prayers my friends. We appreciate them greatly.


Anonymous said...

I have been reading your blog and want to express sympathy for the passing of your Dad. Hoever, the comments you continue to make about your Grandmother's relatives and how greedy they are and how they ransacked her house has led me to writw this comment. those are total "lies". There was notheing in that house anyone would have, nor want. You have never taken the time to get to know her "relatives", or you would realize that is not the case. I have known the "relatives" you speak of for a long time and everyone in Martin County has a very high opinion of them. You need to take God for Troy Bradshaw, because there were times your Grandmother would have died if he had not gone up to check on her. Until you know what the truth is and not just your Grandmother's version, you might refrain from writing things that are slanerous and untrue.

Bob said...

I've asked and tried repeatedly to talk to my relatives and was strongly cold shouldered every time. Still wish to talk with any of them. From my perspective they are hiding. NOW I KNOW FOR A FACT, who stole the washer and new dryer. They told me themselves. Troy himself told Cherie and I, after my grandmother was put in the nursing home and was still alive, that we could take anything we want because everyone else already got what they wanted. When I told him we had just come from visiting grandmother and she told us this was our inheritance he immediately left without saying another word. So come and talk to me, don't hide. Jesus said that if you know your brother has anything against you go to him and make it right (Mathew 5) I've tried and tried to talk but walls don't talk back. So are you a good Christian? Be a doer of the word, not a hearer only. (James)

Bob said...

By the way, How do you know what was in the house? I know and have pictures taken over the years. Even if something wasn't "Worth anything" taking it still makes you a thief. If I stole a piece of bubble gum I'm still a thief even if it's only worth a penny. Does that justify anything? We know what's gone, things we set aside during the funeral such as bolts of cloth (Cherie's a seamstress) weren't there. So I KNOW what I know. I have pictures of drawers pulled out and dumped on the floor. I've learned that normally good people seem to change when it comes to their own relatives, especially with a death. At least with your comment someone is at last talking to us. So get the whole group together and all of you come out and talk "with" us.

Bob said...

I guess "anonymous" has nothing else to say. No one called or came by. How sad. The story of "Nothing of value in the house" is one I hear all over the place so it's clear my relatives are conducting a campaign to cover their tracks. I lived with my grandmother since I was 14 and have all of her financial receipts and records so have a good idea and photographic record of what was here. I suppose a brand new dryer or new lawn mower aren't worth anything in some peoples eyes. The bible says that there is nothing done in darkness that won't come to light. Where is the love of Jesus with these church going folks? Where is forgiveness? Why do they hide and not come and talk? I've been waiting for three years now. Invited them over for dinner and did everything I can to get to know them.