Harsh words don’t break bones but they can break hearts
Had a conversation yesterday about how things parents say to children in anger or thinking they are funny can have a life long effect on the relationship between that child and the parent. My Dad was the king of saying harsh things not thinking about what would result from his words. Once at college during exam time I called home and was worried that I had not heard from my mom since she always wrote every single week. His response to me was “if you want something to read try a book” I hung up on him and for the next week did no work at all because I just decided I did not care any more.
One of my brothers wrote home regularly when he was away for 6 months. He had trouble writing but it was always fun getting his letters and hearing about what he was doing. Then one night he called home or we called him and my dear old dad had to criticize his writing and his grammar. Well, that was the end of the regular fun letters. What dumb things to do!
But when you are little and don’t understand as well those same kinds of words really can have terrible effects putting distance between the trust of the child and the parent as well as the loss of respect. I don’t even remember what my dad said to me when I was around 6 or 7 but I remember making a decision that I did not want to be close to him again. I was really hurt by his words. I don’t think my dad ever hit me physically but he certainly, in retrospect, reflected on us the pains of his own childhood. I know now that his childhood was not a bed of roses by any means but he had no idea the damage he was doing to us as kids with his words Really sad when one thinks about it and you hope parents of young children think before they speak, the old adage of “count to 10 before you open your mouth” really does work. And can ave a lot of pain on both sides in the long run .
We had a nice day, farmers market, lunch on the porch, playing games, visit with the kids Mor-Mor, and all was well except mom sprained her ankle on her morning run and had to go up to the hospital to have it checked out. She is on crutches until the pain subsides and the foot is wrapped and being iced. Kids were great at bath and bed time. I got to read some chapters of a Fancy Nancy book which I really like. All packed and ready to drive home tomorrow.
Each of the letters to Pat show more and more that she is not telling them what is going on. They were really in the dark and it fits right in with what I remember my mother telling me about that time. What a brave soul she was going through all of this alone, especially coming from such a close family. Her brother was a pediatrician and this was his New Years letter to her.
Fergus J O’Connor Jr.
Just a wee note. Mary tells me your cough bothers considerably and that sucking aspirin helped some so I’ve asked Powell and Vrooman to send you down some acrthesin(?) tablets. Connie and I swear by them. Suck one every 2-4 hours and see if it doesn’t help.
We had a wonderful Christmas.. Mother and Dad dropped in for about 20 minutes and others wise we just stayed home and enjoyed every minute of it. Really grand and that royal bird the turkey was the best we’ve every had. Santa Claus and everyone was simply wonderful.
Now we are looking forward to New Years. Mother, Dad and James are coming over for a lovely Roasted Goose. I bought it today and it’s a lovely looking goose and should be just right by 4 pm Saturday. Dad’s favorite meat so we just had to have it.
Mary was thrilled by the meals you people get and I hope you are eating plenty or taking all the vitamins required by yours truly. We are looking forward to your trip up here next month. Michael Paul and Fergus are all anxious to see you.
Fergus went to Mass with us Christmas and got up on the seat and in a very solemn voice said (Quite loudly) “twas the night before Christmas and all through the house not a creature was stirring not even a mouse was stirring amen”
And so amen till another time. Try the acuthism(?).
Happy New Year