I blogged today on one of my professional blogs about those who inspired me to write. It started me thinking about those who inspire me in other ways. This list isn’t nearly as easy to compile, and I find that sad. Who inspires me spiritually? Who inspires me to be the best person I can be? The best mom? The best friend, sister, daughter, and aunt I’m capable of being? What about the best grandmother?
The last one is probably the easiest one to answer because my parents were great grandparents to my kids. I say “were” because my dad’s gone now, but my mother’s still here and she’s still a terrific grandmother to my kids. Nobody could be more proud of those kids than my mother is. Of course, when they disappoint, she feels the disappointment deeply, and when you’re on the receiving end of that, it’s sometimes harsh and unpleasant. I’d be just as happy to skip over that part and concentrate on loving deeply and without limits or conditions.
I haven’t always been the best daughter and sister. My family could regale you with stories about the times I’ve failed. Even though I pulled my head out and turned my life around many years ago, underneath everything runs a steady current of that icky disappointment. Whether it’s true or not, I feel as if the disappointment will never die. No amount of success will ever blot out my failures, even if the last really disappointing thing I did was more than 20 years ago, and successes (the personal kind) have been flowing pretty steadily ever since. Okay, not exactly successes. More like the absence of failures.
No, that’s not true. There have been successes. I may not always reach the star I’m reaching for, but I never stop reaching, never stop climbing, never stop trying to flap my wings and fly.
So maybe my family doesn’t give me everything I think they should, but they have given me that. I come from a long line of tireless arm flappers. No matter how bad life gets, no matter what bumps we roll over along the way, no matter how many times we fall down, we pick ourselves up and dust ourselves off and keep going. It’s just what we do.
And, really, I can’t even say that my family doesn’t give me what I think it should because I know they give me all they have to give. Anything they haven’t given is merely an accident of nature, the result of some past experience blocking them, but never out of mean-spiritedness or anger. If they had it to give, it was mine. Period.
There isn’t a soul alive who could ask for more than that.