December 8th, 2013

Comfort Eagle

family matters

Reposted from 12/08/2009:

I was thinking today about my father, as I usually do on this day. I've spent a good part of my life trying to measure up to the standard he set, which was dumb of me because when it comes down to cases we're really not that much alike. There are similarities, sure, but by and large this life hasn't been much like his. Conversely, while he was and is a hero to me, I was always aware that he had his shortcomings, and one of the things that irritated me about the ex was that she kept trying to tear him down by pointing out stuff I was already aware of. Yeah, he was a bottle jockey, but that was pretty normal for men of his time, ethnicity, and culture, and I'm not in a position to throw stones in that regard even if I was so inclined.

I think it's important to remember what the ancient Greeks said about heroes: they all had their fatal flaw, their nemesis that laid them low in the end. It's true of everyone except the handful of saints, which of course is why we put them in that particular box. It's not an excuse to quit trying to improve yourself and succeed, though, and it bothers me no end when I hear people blaming their problems on their parents. Y'all grown up now. Get a grip and live your own lives. Take the best part of what your parents were and build on it instead of brooding over the bad parts and warping your life around that. The popular notion that everything wrong with people is rooted in their parents is leftover Freudian bullshit that doesn't mix well with the notion of free will, which is another reason I'm not okay with it.

Much like that Wednesday four years ago, I didn't get up to the Family Plot or to Mass; I had the gas but the snow outside was enough to keep any sensible person off the road. I said a prayer for my parents and let it go at that.
I miss them, of course, but I think they are happier to be where they are now instead of lingering on as their bodies continued to fail and the brains began to go.
The Lord is merciful, and he spared them a long, drawn-out death with the concomitant descent into senility. It's something to be grateful for.
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