I’ve been feeling ruminative for the past day or so, my friends. Yesterday we waited for, and then watched the freezing rain. I sat in our sun room as the rain fell and the windows iced over, and the ticking gas stove pumped out heat. I read and then watched an old movie. The Big Chill. I love that movie, hokey as it is in places. And I adore the music. Afterwards, throughout dinner, as Hubby and I watched TV, and even after I went to bed, the song “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” played over and over in my head.
And this morning as Hubby chipped away at the layers of ice on our walkway, and I rearranged cancelled appointments, I still couldn’t get the darned song out of my head. You can’t always get what you want. Yep.
A few years ago at a dinner one night with work friends, we talked about a colleague who was having personal issues. I was sympathetic, but couldn’t, like my friends, classify her situation as “tragic.” “Disappointing, yes, sad, for sure, but not tragic,” I said. And one friend replied, “Well, Sue, when you’ve never had to contend with not getting what you want, it’s hard to be understanding.”
Wow. I knew that some colleagues saw me as someone who always told jokes, or funny stories of life on the farm, as I swanned around in my new outfit. But I was shocked and surprised that my friend knew me so little. That she assumed I had always “got what I wanted” in my life.
I don’t claim to have had a tragic life. Not at all. I realize that I am, and have always been, privileged. Perhaps along the way I didn’t always see my life that way. Sometimes I was sad, even in despair. As we all are at times. But looking back I know that, despite setbacks, I was privileged.
This morning, while that Rolling Stones song whirled in my head, I asked myself…. so, what did I not get that I really wanted? Well, there was that fake fur coat for Christmas when I was ten. Ha. And the fact that I never really knew my father. I’ve always wished I had known him. And had longer as an adult to cultivate a relationship with him.
Not long after my sixth birthday, my parents split up. I don’t want to get into the details of why and how. One day maybe I’ll write about that, but not here. I don’t really remember anything about that time anyway. I will just say that he was an alcoholic, who had tried again and again to master his illness, and failed. And once he left we didn’t see him again. That’s the way my mother wanted it. And, according to her, he respected her wishes. Or that’s how she always explained it to me. It was “for the best.”
I’ve always understood my mother’s handling of the whole situation. As a kid I never questioned her judgement. She had me and my older siblings to consider. She’d been widowed with three children at age twenty-three when her first husband, the father of my brother and two sisters, was killed in a road accident. My next oldest sister was only five weeks old at the time. Meeting and marrying my handsome father a few years later must have seemed too good to be true. And so it was. When her second marriage went down the drain, she was heart-broken. And gob-smacked. She’d had her fair share, and more, of upheaval, grief, and trauma. And so had my brother and sisters, and even me. So afterwards, she decided to do the very best she could to make all our lives as stable as possible. And that meant that my father should stay away.
I know that their marriage was not good. Life with a recovering alcoholic who is no longer recovering can be devastating. But as I said, I don’t remember that time. And my mum never spoke ill of my father to me. She told me stories of the early years of their marriage. How her sense of humour made him laugh. How her working-class upbringing and his rather more privileged one seemed to balance each other out. The poem he wrote to her and tucked into his empty lunch box for her to find. The time when they were first married, and living near her parents, and one evening she walked down the street to visit her mother. And when she came home, he’d made a pie. “A pie!” she always laughed, “He’d never made a pie in his life.” She told me that he was the love of her life. And when I grew up if I wanted to contact him, and have a relationship with him, that was up to me.
And so I did. I was seventeen, and on my way to Grand Manan Island with my friend to visit her grandparents. We thought we were so grown up. We’d caught the bus from Fredericton to Saint John, and her Uncle Larry had picked us up to take us to the ferry for Grand Manan. On our way home, Uncle Larry dropped us off at the bus station in Saint John, and we had two hours to kill. “My father lives near here, you know,” I said to my friend. “Why don’t you call him?” she suggested. “No. No. I couldn’t. I mean I couldn’t. What would I say?” But she pushed me. And I gave in.
We found his number in the phone book, and I called him from a phone booth in downtown Saint John. He answered right away. I panicked and hung up. Then I called back. We talked. He wanted to come pick me up, to see me right then. But I lied and said our bus was coming any minute. A phone call and a visit would be too much. He asked after my mum, said he knew she had remarried, and that we lived on a farm. He asked if I liked my step-father. I said I did. And he asked if he could come to see me. I said yes, that would be nice.
A month or so later after he’d called my mum to check it was okay, he came. We were effectively strangers. He was well dressed, and thin. He’d developed cirrhosis of the liver and was quite ill. I don’t remember what we talked about. My mum and Lloyd stayed with me the whole time because I’d asked them to. I was so nervous. What do you say to a stranger who is your father? I made him tea. My mum hugged him when he left. And he drove away.
He stayed in touch after that. We spoke on the phone a few times. And he died within a year. My grandmother Sullivan and my stepfather took me to the funeral. And that was that.
So. I guess really knowing my father, getting the chance to build the relationship with him that started and never had the chance to grow, is what I wanted that I didn’t get. But as the song goes, “You can’t always get what you want.” I did get a chance to see him again. I’m very glad that my braver friend pushed me to call him that day. How I would have regretted it if I hadn’t capitulated! I’d probably never have had another chance.
I think my father’s death at age 55 is tragic. The life that he wasted, the potential that he never realized because of alcohol is tragic. But my life has not been tragic. Look what happened when I was fourteen, after my mum had been a single parent for eight years. She married my step-father. We moved to the farm. And life was pretty wonderful. For the most part.
Not that I got everything I wanted. Ha. I wish.
You know, when we were growing up, Mum always told us that even if we “didn’t have a father” we were more lucky than many kids. She told me years later she had always been afraid that sympathizing with us too much would make us weak, and not able to make our own way in the world. Thinking back on that I remember a story a friend of mine told the graduates at commencement one year when I was still teaching. The story of how the caterpillar needs to struggle to get out of its cocoon. The struggle makes its wings strong. If we help it, when it emerges as a butterfly, its wings will be stunted.
That’s kind of what Mum was doing when I came home with a tale about the boy at school saying I didn’t have a father. If she let me feel sorry for myself, I might never grow strong.
So that’s what I have been ruminating on for the past day or so. Chewing over the past, so to speak. And then writing a quite self-indulgent post. It wasn’t what I’d tentatively planned to write about. But when I sat down at the computer it all just forced its way to the surface. Blame it on the Rolling Stones.
All these things in my life happened many years ago. And as I said earlier, looking back, I know that, despite setbacks, I was still privileged. And, okay, maybe you can’t always get what you want. But as the song goes, “if you try sometimes you just might find/ you get what you need.” And clearly writing this was what I needed today.
So it’s your turn, now. What are you ruminating on this week my friends? Care to get it off your chest?
81 thoughts on “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”
And one friend replied, “Well, Sue, when you’ve never had to contend with not getting what you want, it’s hard to be understanding.” That ‘friend’ is a bitch. That was extremely unkind to say that to you. Know one knows what anyone else goes through.
That might be a “bitchy” thing to say, but she isn’t a bitch. I think just someone who didn’t see past the version of myself I showed at work. And now that I think of it, I wonder what had happened in her own life that might have mirrored the friend of whom we were speaking.
I ruminate about my father’s passing and my mother existing in a memory care facility for the past 6years. When I wake in the middle of the night, my mind starts its’ hamster wheel of grieving. They were good parents to me, I miss them. Their endings were not good but I can’t think of anybody who has had a “good ending”. I want hope for me, my spouse, my friends, my children…for cures, for good endings.
Ah… good endings. I worry about that as well. And usually at night.
I am so glad I saw your Instagram post today that led me to this wonderful story of your life. Nobody always gets what they want. Life is hard at some point for everyone. Nobody should assume anyone’s life is perfect. I am not getting what I want now, my youngest brother has Alzheimer’s and I want a miracle for him. I may get it, I may not but I had a great FaceTime talk with him tonight and he was good. I will sleep well tonight because when he is good I am too.
Thanks, Tricia. I understand what you’re feeling. When my sister moved in to be with Mum, I started sleeping better. Knowing that they were both not alone.
Gripping read with my cup of tea. I have been thinking far too much about ageing and death for the past couple of weeks, especially perhaps because a friend has just lost her mother in one of the saddest of ways and has such a terrible relationship with her only sister that things are now so hard to bear. And someone I worked with died at only 60 – a lifetime of eating disorder and alcoholism culminated in a heart attack. And it has snowed and been miserable. Everybody has a story, perhaps especially those who present a shiny, happy front to a difficult world.
Thanks, Annie. I’ve been thinking of those things too. And wow… sometimes when it’s cold and miserable it’s hard to climb out of that pit.
Wonderful writing Sue . I love to read good memoirs & you really know how to write . I didn’t have a perfect childhood , my mum’s was incredibly hard & I agree with the caterpillar theory . There are people I’ve known who have found it difficult being an adult after their perfect childhoods . They seemed to be constantly dissatisfied . There’s a limit of course as real deprivation often means damaged people . The important thing is you did have the constant caring presence of your mum . The more you speak of her the more I admire her . I wish I could sit & listen to her tell her story .
Ha. I can so see that visit. You would have tea together and you’d laugh a lot.
Wonderful writing indeed Sue.
I don’t think that there is anyone that got everything they want
People don’t usually see anything that’s behind our (honest) smile-so, it was really a compliment in a way (although bitchy,I agree with Amy).
That’s a good way to look at it, my friend. I think I’ll adopt that view.
So beautiful; so NOT self-indulgent. Brought me to tears this morning-knowing about your recognition of your mother’s loving intention to encourage your strength. The fact that Llyod took you to the funeral so, so touched me, too. Have always been drawn to the stories you have told about him:his decency and love for you all.
Very much appreciate your awareness that life is hard, we all suffer, but, maybe not naming all hard things as tragic not only can lend perspective, it can also sometimes sure up our resilience. Sue, you are a wise and seasoned woman, who happens to be funny and light at times, too. I appreciate it all.
A. in London
Thank you so much. Lloyd filled the hole in us… he was definitely what we all needed. But I think I perhaps benefited most from his marrying my mum.
I so enjoy your writings. You make me think. Even the ultra-privileged don’t always get what they want. And, especially I think when we are younger, so many of our wants are such meaningless “things.” Privilege seems such an odd concept. I think that most, admittedly not all, have some privilege, some “blessings” (though I kind of hate the use of that word). And all have rough patches in life as well.
I have only been reading your blog for the last couple of years. Have you ever thought of compiling at least some of your posts into a book? I know I could go back and read the older posts, and I occasionally do, but I would be more likely to read a book. I recently read Ann Patchett’s essays, These Precious Days.
On a lighter note, now I want to re-watch The Big Chill…
Thanks. That is such a wonderful compliment, Nancy.
Wonderful post. Enjoyed it immensely.
Thanks, Laurel. So glad you liked it.
Oh Sue, you are truly mystic. You touch on my life. Thank you for most excellent post.
Ah, thanks so much, Heather. Your comments always buoy me up.
Beautifully told, Sue. I, like others here, love hearing about your wonderful stepfather, and so also the things you have chosen to treasure about your father (and what a hero your mom is, for so many reasons). So I’ll forgive you for the Rolling Stones ear-worm, friend, and hope you are spared the nasty things that ice storms bring.
Ha. Sorry about the ear worm, MK. The things I treasure about my father were planted by my mum. I’ve always been grateful to her for that.
Wow- this post touched my mind, heart and soul! I so agree with the comments above – your writing is beautiful and not self-indulgent and you are wise woman – with a wonderful sense of humor and style. Thank you for sharing.
Thanks so much, Wini. I don’t think I’m very wise… but I sure appreciate your saying it. 🙂
I think your analogy of the butterfly is a good way to look at life in general. When our life is too protected, lessons we need for the rest of our life are not learned as well. It is funny that we sometimes don’t see that until it’s in the rear view. I hear the words of all those who miss their parents and I have to realize how blessed I am that this year, if all goes “as I want” when I turn 70, I still have my Mom who will be 99 just days before. Life is not always perfect with her, but few people are still making memories with their parents at my age. Your words Sue remind me of that.
I still remember how that story of the butterfly touched the graduates… and me. I feel the same way about mu mum. It’s not easy at her age, but I’m grateful she’s still around.
how enjoyable – a post not about name brand clothes
Not nice Judy.
Ouch. Of course, you don’t have to read the fashion posts, Judy.
i would like to think you were just having a bad day Judy. its not your blog and you dont have to be here. that was a very unfortunate remark
Thank you, Sue, for such an open and thoughtful post to savor with my morning coffee. Your Mom and mine sound a lot alike… weren’t we lucky to have Mom’s who knew how to help us grow to be strong?
I remember a photo-shoot in Vogue a hundred years ago; a gorgeous model on a yacht wearing a Captains hat embroidered with the words, “God save me from what I think I want.” Getting what we need is better, by far!
We were lucky, Donna.
Each of us has a complicated history. Not all of us are as gifted as you in telling it. xx
“But as the song goes, “if you try sometimes you just might find/ you get what you need.” And there was Lloyd. The father you needed.
Ah. That made me tear up, Mary. So true.
Mary you may also have Sue’s gift with words. Such a lovely comment.
Thanks for your meaningful and beautifully written rumination. Through the years I’ve observed that some folks seem to be able to bear the disappointments in their lives with grace and positive forbearance – and consequently, others then assume a charmed existence!
Not sure about the grace, but I’ve always tried to be positive. Especially when I was working. I thought humour and silly stories went down much better with our lunch, especially when the job was stressful.
This was a lovely post. We all have a story. Thank you for sharing yours!
Thanks for reading, Linda. 🙂
This is one -and just one of our hardest weeks. Our best friends of over 50 years lost their second (in meaning they lost their first son 12 years ago) to a tragic car accident. Our friend is also recovering from pancreatic cancer surgery 3 weeks ago. Steven, sho was killed by a wrong way drunk driver, was a gift to humanity. Adopted by my friends at birth, he was born to a drug addicted Mother, blind in one eye, was fed through a feeding tube, not expected to survive, he not only survived, he thrived, graduating from college, had a wonderful girlfriend that recently graduated medical school ( she was critically injured and will require extensive rehabilitation to walk again) , he raised service dogs , he worked at Goldman Sacks-he was an angel and a joy, still not able to eat normally, still paralyzed none side of his handsome face, still blind in one eye. We also lost our son 8 years ago-and this family has been our solace and comfort throughout it all-as no-one can relate until they too have suffered such a loss of a child. Now they have lost their second son. How do you ever recover from such loss and grief? We are numb, we are in shock, and we are angry. There is no reason for this other than evil. We are heartbroken.
Oh, Sandy. There are no words, are there? For you or for your friends. When my friend’s son died four years ago, I called my mum for advice. How could I, who has no children, help her? Mum said when her first husband was killed, and she had three small children, her biggest comfort was her friend who just sat with her. Didn’t spout banalities. Or try to fix her. I remember thinking how wise that was. Your friends, and you, must indeed be heartbroken. That poor boy who overcame so many obstacles. His death is the very definition of tragic.
You always make me want to communicate. This was a very thought provoking post. Made me feel less bitchy about no one wanting me and all the wisdom I have gained over the years. Today is our 65 anniversary. I have been married to a wonderful person who has put up with a great deal and always greets me with a smile, etc. Perhaps I really have needed this time off to reflect on just how fortunate I have been over the years. So I guess i have really gotten most of what I had hoped and wished for at 20. Time to reflect(was not one of those items). But here goes…………….
Now you have me thinking, Susan. I’ve been trying to remember what I had hoped for my life when I was twenty.
This post grabbed me. As soon as I saw the title I thought of the song and also the iconic movie The Big Chill. I’ve seen that movie over and over and I always seem to something different as I age. It was the first time I had seen several of those actors who are now beloved. But, on a more serious note, I have lived with chronic pain for the last 10 years. I am 66 years old and it’s very hard to share about my journey with friends. Even when I try, it’s hard to everyone to understand my daily experience. After much thought, I am going to visit an alternative medicine clinic for chronic pain patients. Goodness knows, I’ve tried everything traditional medicine has to offer! I could ramble on and on, but it’s a big step for me in trying to “get what I want”. Which is a “normal” life, whatever that is! For the first time in forever, I have HOPE.
I don’t know what might be causing your pains, but I too suffered with pain from age nineteen until age fifty six, when I retired.
I lived with pains mainly everyday, all day.
Somedays worst than others.
I visited several doctors, but none could help. I’m now, sixty three and pain free!
One day I realized I was no longer in pains,
What had happened? I had to figure it out. I changed my diet! Sure hope you find your answer.
My sister battles with pain ever day as well, Linda. It’s exhausting and totally changes your life. I really hope the new treatment avenue you’re exploring works for you.
Such an interesting post Sue! You are so much braver than I was at that age. I was raised by my grandparents and only found out, at 18, that my sister was actually my mother and that I had a father out there that I had not known about. We didn’t have the internet back then so it wasn’t as easy to find people as it is now. I got on with my life, married and had children and never did try to find him. (I have always been the ostrich who stuck her head in the sand!).
Anyway some years ago I went on Ancestry and started digging and learned a lot about him and his family. Even visited his gravesite on a trip back to Saskatchewan. How I wish now I had met him but it is too late. So I really admire the fact that you were brave enough to look your father up!
We all have our stories and regrets. I guess that’s what makes us all the unique individuals we are.
Thank you for your blog. I am always excited to see it pop up in my email. Whether you are writing about fashion, books or just life in general it is always an entertaining read. You have such a gift!
Sometimes I like to, in my mind at least, thank my seventeen-year-old self for doing that. I grew up always knowing that one day when I was older I would contact my father. And I just assumed he would be there when I was ready. But if I’d left it a few months more, it would have been too late.
Such a wonderfully written post. Maybe I did not get what I wanted on many occasions growing up, and after, but what I can say is that I had a fantastic aunt who did not have children of her own was to me the perfect surrogate mother when my own just could not cope. The memories of her will be with me for the rest of my life as she sadly left us when I was in my late 20’s, but she was a lifeline while she was here. I have learned to make the best of what I have in most cases and I must say now I am blessed with a great group of friends and will be able to deal with what life throws at me because of my past experiences. And also, no one really knows what is behind that freshly applied smile and sincerely spoken ” I am fine”.
How wonderful to have that aunt to step in when you needed it, Diane. Love that line… “freshly applied smile.”
Sue, your post was exactly what I needed this morning…and then the sun came out. We do indeed get what we need!
Ah, thanks Ali. Wish the sun would come out here this morning. It’s snowing sideways!
This was a lovely, uplifting read on a morning when it seems the world finally has gone completely mad.
I think it takes equal amounts of energy to focus on the good in our lives as the bad, but no one should assume we’ve experienced none of the latter. Your mother gave you a great gift in sharing with you her good memories of your dad. That’s pure love.
I know she did. I’ve always felt grateful for those stories. My mum has had lots of tragedy in her life, but she chooses to focus on the sweet or funny moments. I guess that’s where I get my rose-coloured glasses.
As usual, your story-telling skills are sublime. Perspective is an interesting thing. It changes as we grow. I hope mine is as generous, thoughtful, and unassuming as yours as we move through these uncertain times. Your blog posts always make me feel better. That’s a gift.
Thank-you so much, Wendy. And thanks for the gift of reading what I write. 🙂
Thank you for this thoughtful post. You make me think no matter what your topic is and I appreciate you!
Thanks for saying so, Mary Lou. Sometimes when I send a post out into the net I wonder if it’s too silly, or (like this one) too self-indulgent. Reader response is so much appreciated.
This is to respond to Lorelei. It is amazing how we remember the funny times and those pass into our verbal history to be remembered and retold!(as the occasion warants)
Beautiful post. Your mother found the perfect man in Lloyd who sounds just wonderful. That he took you to your bio father’s funeral and sat with you when your Dad visited speaks volumes about his good character. You did get what you needed.
My mother often said “Be careful what you wish for”. My husband and I were married many years before our much longed for eldest was born. He came into to a successful, well educated family and wanted for nothing. He was born into many privileges was well loved and adored by immediate and extended family and friends. At six he was reading at high school level (Gr 11), was fluently bilingual, and wrote and illustrated little books for himself. At seven he was identified as profoundly gifted, a double sided sword..we did not know what lay ahead. Years of misdiagnosed mental illness, fighting with well intentioned but frustrated teachers, starting and dropping out of University ( with scholarships) twice, and a suicide attempt that landed him in the ICU for three days. Then an adult diagnosis of autism…it was not what we wanted…but time has taught us that he was just what we needed! We learned to handle life day by day to give thanks for the small victories to not hide but share our experiences and people are.so.surprised! THAT HAPPENED TO YOU? Yeah and I nearly died in 2017, lost my older brother to brain cancer the same year, had two emergency stays in the hospital and an emergency surgery same year. In 2018 had my mom in an Ottawa hospital for three weeks until I could get her safely transferred back Oakville, had another major surgery ( that was just January!) lost my MIL in May of 2018 and my Mom in 2019…some years the poop just hits the fan by the bushel! I didn’t want any of it…but in retrospect I needed the experiences because I had lessons to learn from them. I have learned to stay away from blame or to play the ‘life is not fair’ card. Today my son blooms with his hospital work and the love of his wife and young children. When he told me they were expecting #3 ( hot on the heels of #2) I said “Is this what you want?”with a mother’s concern for his battle with clinical depression, that money is tight and the other two so young. My wise and very intelligent son looked at me and smiled ‘ Momma it’s not about what you want, it’s about what you need.’ The Universe needed for him to have a daughter.
One lesson I have learned and am still learning is to not judge others. We never know what burdens they might carry, what sorrows mark their day to day. The happiest face might be hiding a broken heart. Your friend has lessons to learn about pre judging others. That is her Karma.
Thanks for the beautiful comment. You have certainly had lots and lots of “learning experiences.” Your son is lucky to have such supportive parents. And parents who despite all the challenges still believe they are lucky to have him.
Wow, can you write! What a meaningful post. I’ve always said that “you never knows what goes on behind closed doors”. Everyone should know and assume that we all have challenges and seasons of despair in our lives. Not everyone is equipped to handle these in the same way.
I loved your post AND love what the others have to say in response. This is a very thoughtful group of followers you have cultivated.
The readers of this blog are definitely a thoughtful, compassionate bunch.
My father died at the same age from the same dreadful disease. He was highly intelligent, charming, handsome, and the many who loved and admired him and tried to help him mourned that his addiction blighted his life and that of those around him.
It seems an odd human trait that we compare and try to rank the vicissitudes of our lives. No matter how privileged they may appear from the outside no one has an untrammelled life.
I sometimes think the greatest gift of all is the ability to make the best of our circumstances whatever they may be. Something your mother has and has passed to you.
Yes, handsome, charming (everyone said so), smart, “could turn his hand to anything” as my mum always said. Addiction IS a “blight” on everyone it touches. Good word.
This is another Sue-post that I will archive and re-read many times. It reminds me of a lesson my husband and I learned from our son’s very wise 3rd- and 4th-grade teacher. At one of our annual parent-teacher conferences, she gently but firmly advised us to stop trying to protect our son from all adversity. She pointed out that doing that robbed him of the opportunities to learn and grow that he needed. She helped us learn to distinguish between doing that and protecting our son from dire harm (as we, like all parents, should try to do for our children). We were so fortunate to have two years of opportunities to work with and learn from that teacher.
Thanks, Leslie. That is high praise. You and your husband were wise to listen to the teacher’s advice. Not everyone does.
A very moving, thoughtful, and personal post. Thank you for sharing it with us. I’ve been ruminating myself lately, and like you, thinking about the gap between people’s impression of us and of our life, based on what they see, and that which we’ve experienced. It’s far too easy to make assumptions. . . (also, the more I learn about your mother, the more I admire her. I know you know how lucky you are to have her!) xo, f
That’s the trouble (and the joy) of blogging, isn’t it? I know you know this struggle. What to share, what to not share… how much is too much or too little. But my urge to blab on about things is sometimes irresistible.
What a moving post. Your mother and Lloyd sound like a remarkable couple who really had your best interests at heart and gave you what you needed.
One of our daughters, a very wise woman, once thanked us for letting her go. (She moved to London and lived there for 10 years and then to Australia for the next 12 years). When asked what she meant she replied that we loved her enough to trust her to “fly” by herself but she knew we would be there to catch her if she dropped. That has always stayed with me. I believe they now call it teaching resilience, perhaps what your mother taught you.
How wonderful that your daughter did not take that for granted, but thanked you for letting her go. I think your being there if she needed you is the most important part of that. That’s what gave me courage at times.
Thank you for such a beautiful, poignant, articulate post.
Thanks, Genevieve. 🙂
I’ve been following your blog for about a year now, which always put a smile on my face. No matter what the situation, somehow you push forward and see the positive ending.
This is my first time make a comment , but I felt the need to respond to Linda list.
Blessings to you
Thanks, Ann. 🙂
What a thought provoking post Sue. I feel angry that someone said such a dismissive thing to you. And then I think – God – I think I have felt that way about my sisters, and it is so self-centered and pitying. I wonder if I ever said as much to them – and I hope not. Now that I am a bit older and wiser, I would never presume to guess about another person’s story.
And I love the comments on this post as well. It has opened us up to tell our stories of loss and disappointment, and tragedy. We have been missing the opportunities to share and connect through Covid, haven’t we?
And like you, I try to be positive and grateful all the time. And sometimes I can’t, and just need to wallow for a bit. But – a cup of tea solves most things, doesn’t it? Big Hugs
Thanks, my friend. I always love the comments on my blog, but I do love it when people I know in real life comment. You have had your fair share of battles in your life. And I don’t think I have ever seen you wallow! Joke about “picking potatoes” maybe… but never wallow. xo
I’m playing catch-up with your posts after a week of deep indoor cleaning. Not the whole house, but several rooms. Whew! You know what I want? To not have to clean this house! (Speaking of privilege…)
I didn’t have an easy childhood, but I recognize that I had so many advantages as a person with white skin color. I had that underlying privilege of being given opportunities denied to so many others, for reasons beyond our control. I would argue that I worked hard for my successes and I am proud of that. I also know that many people work hard and still don’t get what they deserve. As a society, we need to make that better.
Thank you for sharing a little of your childhood and how it was hard to not know your father, as well as your perspective on tragedy and privilege. This was a moving and thought-provoking post. And, of course the Rolling Stones are behind all of it!
Thanks, Dottie. You’re right. Many people work as hard as we did and get nowhere for so many reasons.
Love this piece, Sue. Thanks a bunch! Ruminations on the nature of friendship, writing and creative endeavour is in order soon.
Thank-you, my friend. 🙂
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