I had lunch with my daughter yesterday.  Sushi.  The waiter, a middle aged Chinese man with horrible English, cracked a joke in his broken English that his name was Jack.  "Not Jackie Chan", he said with a smile and bit of a bow.  We roared laughing at his humor amidst his inability to command the English language well.  He said we were beautiful sisters.  I think my daughter cried, but I, well I giggled out loud while smiling to my toes.  He shared that in his culture you do not ever say things you do not truly mean.  If he has nothing he feels or sees in people he will say nothing.   Trust me he said lots over the course of the hour and actually followed us to the door saying he would remember us when we came in again - the beautiful sisters.  

His words stuck with me as I left my daughter after lunch... he would remember us, the beautiful sisters.  Sitting and catching up with Hannah over lunch I asked her how Thanksgiving was with her dad's side of the family.  This was the first time in 26 years I was not part of my now ex-in law's holidays.  I don't know if I really felt like I was missing something as much as adjusting to not having the drama and clinginess of my mother-in-law surrounding me.  It was a good adjustment actually. Hannah shared that she was looking at photo albums and pictures around her grandmother's house when she noticed that my picture had been meticulously cut from each and every picture.  She said her eyes fell on her own wedding pictures from a year ago and the picture of her as a bride, her husband as the groom and her dad and I was now missing me.  I had been physically, with scissors, cut out of the picture.  

Hannah began to leaf through the album and scan the frames of pictures that dominate her grandmother's house.  Me, her mom, was scrupulously and blaring now cut from each photo.  I could tell it bothered Hannah so I tried to make light of it.  I told her it was like the "Where's Waldo" pictures except it's called "Where's Nancy"!  She laughed.  I asked her how that made her feel.  She shared that it hurt as I was her mom.  It was me that gave birth to her, held her, played with her, participated in who she was, gave up things for, cheered for her, cried with, prayed over, laughed at things with the same wicked sense of humor - who she was a part of me.  I cracked another joke that her grandmother was never really that fond of me and probably enjoyed slicing me out of pictures. She was merely reverse scrap booking I said with an evil grin! 

Changes in life cause us all to handle things differently.  I lived a life with someone for 25 years.  Even if much of it was hard, I can't erase those years I lived.  At my own extended family gathering recently I shared with them that they can talk about my ex-husband whenever they want.  He was a part of their lives for all these years.  I was not going to create a "Where's __________".  I guess I deal with change more head on.  

I asked my daughter if her dad knew what his mother had done to all the pictures of me.   She didn't believe he did and wanted to talk to him about it.  I urged her also to be honest with her grandmother, to speak in love how that hurt her and made her feel.  I know her intent wasn't to hurt, but she was hurt herself and that's how she dealt with it - to create a sort of "Where's Lynn" theme in all the photo albums.  It would seem I really wasn't there even when I was. 

1 comment:

  1. That sucks Lynn...sorry about that. On the other hand she exemplifies such simplicity in that she believes you aren't now and never was a part of her life. How cool would that be. Gotta go Big L...gonna get my photo albums and a sharp pair of scissors.