h1

Bittersweet Memories

December 11, 2009

This is a time of year when I tend to think more about my family of origin…or foo…as some refer to theirs. Thinking about foo always brings mixed feelings.

I can remember “good” times…like when we waited with great anticipation to see if it would snow by Christmas. I recall the wonderful feelings I had looking out at the falling flakes…all fluffy and white. Or the excitement of looking out the window in the morning and seeing the ground all covered with a thick layer of white.

And then, if I am not careful, the intense emotion starts to hit. For some reason…even remembering good things tends to lead to emotional overload. I don’t know why. Even the best of memories can start me on that roller coaster ride of emotions. Why?

Perhaps it is because my memories seem to be so few…so scattered. Could it be that all the good that is buried comes to the surface in those few glimpses of the past? Or could it be that painful memories are masked by that intense “good” feeling…that “good” memory. Could it be that the intensity of good emotions…an intensity so strong as to be “painful”…is just a coverup for the very real pain lying underneath? Could the intensity be a way of my system telling me not to trust that the good feelings were all there was? A way of telling me that I need to keep looking…that there are hidden painful things I need to be open to seeing? I don’t know.

I think of Christmas and the wonder of it all. There is always one particular Christmas that comes to mind. I remember the house. I remember the location…even the address. I remember looking for the snow. I remember my sister and I getting matching pj’s for Christmas. I remember getting a Mary Poppins book. I can almost smell the tree. I get an emotional “feeling” or sensation that I was feeling then. I can see the lights on the tree in the darkened room. What I cannot see…is my sister.

I know she is there, but like so much of her life…I cannot see her. I cannot remember her. We lived in the same house for 10 years and I can barely remember her a handful of times during our growing up years…at the most. I am thankful to have been able to connect with her at least a little before she died.

I cannot remember my parents on that Christmas, either; but I know/sense they are there…lurking somewhere on the edge of my “vision”…with my sister. I do remember more of my parents than I do of my sister. Then again…I guess that is not saying much, is it?

Memories are funny. You cannot select only the bad ones to “forget” or to bury. The good ones go, too.

I am starting to feel older. I know my parents are very elderly by now. Although there has been some email contact…it has not really gone anywhere. And that, too, is bittersweet. Well…maybe just bitter. There isn’t really any sweetness about it. I have done what I could. I have opened the door and allowed them to see that they can still get hold of me (should they ever decide to confess, etc. ) There are things I wish we could talk about…things I wish I could ask…but I know they are not in that place…at least not yet.

This year, I am thinking of Hanukkah more than I am of Christmas. After all, we know Yeshua was not born even in this time of year, let alone on the 25th. So, for me, it is almost a cultural/social holiday…even though I think a lot of Yeshua’s coming…then and in the future. But this is the first year that I am thinking more of Hanukkah.

My foo never celebrated Hanukkah. In fact, I have a feeling that my father would probably be very disapproving. Oh, well. There was a miracle of lights…so legend has it. I think of how the Light of the World came to dwell amongst us. I think of the miracle of the lights represented by Hanukkah. It is not hard to link them together.

I also think of how light has come to me in my healing walk. So much darkness in my past…darkness that has…over time…been slowly replaced with light. I don’t doubt that there is more darkness in there to be revealed…I am OK with that. I know that the Lord of light…the very Light of the World…is here with me to walk me through whatever more is there to be revealed. I know I can count on Him to never leave me or forsake me…to never abandon me.

Do my parents think of me during this time? Do they even care? Does it even matter? They cannot change my healing. I cannot change them. Yet…I hope that during this Hanukkah time…they will allow the only One who can bring true deep and lasting healing to truly be a part of their lives. I hope they accept His love for them and that they, too, will be healed.

People are not born abusers. They are born with a propensity to selfishness, yes. They are born fallen creatures in a fallen world wanting their own way. But cruel abusers? No…they are made into that…not born that. Whatever my parents (and other abusers) went through…I hope they find healing. I hope they can bring all that darkness inside to the true Light of the world…Yeshua. I hope that they, too, can find healing Shalom…real peace…even in the midst of their pain.

One comment

  1. This time of year often brings up memories and thoughts of our FOO for many of us. Personally, I have virtually no memory of Christmas before my teen years. I know they happened, I’ve heard stories from my older siblings, but I don’t actually remember them. There is so much I don’t remember about my childhood, and at this time of year I feel the void much more. However, the joy I’ve had in building memories with my own children (and now my grandchild) in celebrating the birth of our Lord (even though I too know it wasn’t this time of year) has far outweighed any loss in my own childhood.



Please feel free to share your thoughts.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: