The White Cottage

MY DAYS IN RETIREMENT

We’re Both Thinking It – But Won’t Say It

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It’s now been over a week since our family broke apart in pieces. We’ve not heard from Nat’s youngest daughter as yet. Nat even tried to call her last Saturday to see how she was doing, but the cold winds blew in from whence she lives and the poor man was even abruptly dismissed – “I have to go, goodbye”. He deserves a lot of credit for at least trying and for taking the first step. I know he’s thinking about her and naturally is a wee bit worried – that’s the father in him.

We had another little discussion despite his misgivings and managed to settle one or two minor matters regarding my first email. I know I’m a reactionary – smack ’em first and then ask “what the hell?” – plus my patience is now thin as a wafer and I have to constantly remind myself to take a deep breath. I admitted to being overly emotional to his daughter’s first email but the damage was now done and I couldn’t take it back. I also admitted that I could have kept my email much shorter, but I get a knee jerk reaction to anyone who comes at me in a defensive mode – do I look or act that threatening???? For some reason I did not feel this daughter had to approach her father in a defensive mode, but I suppose she was well aware of what happened five years ago and how upset we were when asked for a sudden and late-coming favour. (She had called us five years ago, 10:00 o’clock at night to go to her bank for the next afternoon. No time to think or gather our thoughts – just my knee jerk reaction.) I was taken aback when hubby admitted that some things had to be said, as she accused him of some things, too, for which he was heart broken to hear without giving his side of the story.

I’m also beginning to wonder about his oldest daughter, as we’ve not heard from her either in over a week. We’ll continue to give her the benefit of the doubt and assume she’s been busy – or maybe she, too, is waiting for her father to call her. This is where my patience is starting to go awry and my curiosity is climbing the walls. Neither one of us have admitted to being curious about what his girls are up to or even thinking (we both know we know) and I think we’ll leave it at that for now. I really don’t want to rock any more boats. I’ve already capsized one!

During the week hubby and I had to go into town – Doctor’s appointment for his back – and to deliver a filing cabinet to a sister. He dropped me off early so that I could have a wee visit by myself. I knew in my heart of hearts what he was up to and I love him for it. He knows I would confide in this sister – and I did – and I’m glad I did – it felt good. It felt like I had an independent voice in this whole matter and a sympathetic shoulder to cry on. To be honest I wanted to cry in joy over her daughter’s great accomplishments so far. Her daughter is accelerating in leaps and bounds in a career none of us would have guessed when she was just an adorable little girl with pigtails. My God, her mom has so much to be proud of after all that that family has been through, too. I know any one of my sisters will be there whenever I need them, but this one happened to get a good sense of my anger and frustration for the past 20 years of built up tension and anxiety. I thank her and love her for that. She’s just got that good sense about her – could make one jealous!!!

Trying to at least show good faith, I emailed two of my step-granddaughters (one was even youngest daughter’s daughter). To my one step-granddaughter I congratulated her on her new digs for University this Fall and offered our hands in help. If she needed anything at all we’d be more than glad to help out. To the other step-granddaughter (the one I gave the ring to) I congratulated her on the good work she had done pulling her puppy through the parvo virus he had, said I was sorry I hadn’t commented when she got her new pet and also mentioned that hubby and myself will try and have a summer BBQ or get together with everyone in order to meet the new (cutie) beau. I’m at least hoping that I’ve reached out our hands whether or not she is aware of what is happening between her mother and us. Que sera sera, I guess.

One piece of advice I was given by that sister was for hubby to continue to call his daughter, to ease into a renewed relationship and continue to let her know that he continues to think about her and her family. Sound advice from someone I’ve always been a wee bit jealous of – Bloody Hell, I wish I had her patience and good sense and maybe I’d stay out of trouble more often!!.

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Author: Twila

Born and raised in a small town in Ontario, Canada, with 5 sisters and a brother. Now retired, my husband and I travel, play golf and am slowly renovating our new (old) home. After my kidney transplant in 1999, we've learned to enjoy life to the fullest. Nat and I have driven across Canada, taken an Alaskan cruise and drove home via the Northern United States. We've also been to Mexico, the Caribbean, the East Coast of Canada and Cape Breton. We've done the "Snowbird" thing, having lived in Destin, Florida for a couple of months of the year. In 2007 we changed our travel plans in order to move into and renovate our new "old" home, but hope to someday get back on the road again. We also love returning to Scotland (Nat's origin of birth) to visit his family and tour the Highlands and surrounding Isles.

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