My reading of old age narratives goes on (and on and on)! There is some productivity and much delight in the various way these characters think about the shape of age. I wish I had the capacity to think onto a computer – there is something about the movement of a pen across paper watching the words emerge that is a critical part of the creative process.
My least favourite pile of books deal with angry children who have chosen to write about their beastly parents! In a book called A Bill from my father a son writes about the financial costs of care regretting every penny of it. daughters vent their feelings over inadequate mothers in a frenzy of therapeutic satisfaction. One bishops daughter tells of her father’s sexual life with shocking detail – and is rewarded with the text becoming a best seller in America – I don’t think that religion was the selling point either!
What are we to make of this? I am blessed with good, kind, generous and loving parents. Of course I am aware that this is not everyones experience. Further I am not defending parents who fail to protect children. But – how do we define failure and once named what are we to do with it?
I don’t like people who choose the moral high ground. Beware of those who condemn and criticise others and never question their own judgement. They are dangerous people and there are too many ‘Christians’ who fall into this category.
We are all human. We all make mistakes. Some of our mistakes are more obvious than others. I believe that most people in most circumstances do their best! There are some things beyond our comprehension – and we shall never fully grasp them try as we might. Taking time to understand before jumping into judgement is surely a wiser and more humane way of living and loving? Sometimes it is best to keep our mouths firmly shut!
None of us have or had perfect parents- and very few of us were easy, complete, problem free children! I expect that some of us were a bit of a handful don’t you think?
So – lets be easy and kinder – and learn to forgive our parents and their humanness and (small) falings – in the hope that we can nurture places where our failures are embraced with grace and patience.