Prejudice reared its ugly head in my family this year. I have never been a prejudiced person and did not raise my daughters to be prejudiced. Therefore, I was at a total loss when my oldest daughter and her three daughters showed up at my house in June to attend the annual Birthday Party of my middle daughters son, and as soon as my youngest daughter and her boyfriend, (who happens to be black), drove up, (with his 2-year-old daughter from a previous marriage), my oldest daughter proceeded to pack her daughters back into their SUV and drove off.
My youngest daughter was very hurt and mad. My oldest called her later to try to justify what she had done, but the youngest told her she had nothing to say to her right now. My mother was also at the party. She had ridden down with the oldest, but my husband told her he would take her home later if she wanted to stay, and stay she did. Our 4-year-old grandson just stood there looking and asking why the girls had to leave. It was a terrible event that left months of horror in its wake.
My oldest called me later to explain her actions, “I just don’t know if it is right or not, but I don’t want my daughters subjected to it and think that mommy and daddy condone it” was her excuse. I still had respect for my oldest, but had lost all faith in her husband months before, but that is a different story. I tried to understand her view, but as the weeks went by, my oldest had turned things around to where it was all my fault, I was an awful mother, and lots of other hurtful words. This, of course, sent me sliding down the familiar slide of deep, dark depression. Nearly into the abyss, but my husband and my friend caught me. They managed to help me turn those hurtful words around and to understand that it was not my fault and I certainly wasn’t doing anyone any favors by going where I was headed. With their help, counseling, and prescription medications, I came to a point of middle ground.
That was a big improvement for me and probably the one I’m most happy about in 2012. I talked to the oldest and the youngest and told them I loved them both and was bowing out, leaving them to settle it between themselves. Months went by with no communication efforts made between them. The Holidays were approaching fast and I wasn’t sure how I was going to handle it, but somehow managed to make it through Thanksgiving. We had lunch with the oldest at her home and dinner at my home with the youngest. The middle daughter and her son came down from Kentucky and celebrated both with us.
Now, Christmas was looming, and I was feeling good about it. We would just have two gatherings again like Thanksgiving. My mother, on the other hand, was not handling the situation well. She took a dive and talked with the oldest, which resulted in the oldest calling the youngest and apologizing for everything. Youngest accepted the apology but felt that there was still a lot to be worked out between them. Due to work schedules, other engagements, and just life in general, it so happened that none of us were together at the same time anyway, but just knowing that the lines of communication had been opened was a very big Christmas blessing.
We have come a long way since June and I thought we’d never come back from that one. 2013 is looking promising and my youngest is planning a wedding as she is now engaged.