13 November 2010

About my Grandpa...

Recently, I received news that my grandfather on my dad's side went to the hospital because he couldn't reach the living room from his bedroom without stopping for breath. As of today, he is in the ICU with a breathing tube-- technical medical terms are not my specialty-- and undergoing dialysis. My grandpa is well into his 80's (exact age is unknown because he and my grandma adamantly refuse to allow anyone to celebrate their birthdays), has suffered many health issues as of late, so this comes as no surprise that he is sick once again.

Although the doctors have yet to speak the words "he is dying," my dad and his siblings are preparing for the worst-- if you can honestly call it that.

You see, I don't like my grandfather. At all. While I harbor no actual anger or hatred toward him and do not wish him ill, I have no feelings of any kind in terms of my dad's dad. This numbness has bothered me over the past few days. Shouldn't I be sad? Shouldn't this turn my heart toward him in compassion and hope of redemption? Of course but... it won't happen. There is no love in my heart nor a place there for this man and I ask God to forgive me for it.

Whenever my grandfather comes up in conversation-- usually involving family drama-- I describe him simply:
"He's an asshole," I say with ironic laughter, "no, seriously, my grandpa is an asshole."

If only it weren't true. If only he hadn't yelled at me when I was a girl for taking my shoes off at his home. If only he hadn't constantly asserted his opinion as fact in every topic of conversation. If only he hadn't gotten worked up in conversations so much that he'd start yelling. If only he hadn't laughed at everyone else's mistakes. If only he hadn't acted superior to my grandma because of her alcoholism. If only he hadn't tried turning his children against each other. If only he hadn't treated my dad like the black sheep of the family. If only he had taken more of an interest. If only...

After years of my grandpa's emotional abuse, I decided to view his rude behavior with a sense of humor and stopped giving a shit. I mean, the man spent his summer sitting in the shadows on his porch yelling "get off my lawn!" to anyone who set foot on his grass! The people I feel the saddest for are my grandma, aunt, uncle, and dad-- they are the ones who truly endured my grandfather's abuse and his wrath the most. Thus, I see these casualties of a man bent on spreading misery and hatefulness in need of my prayers more than the man himself.

But of course, that's incorrect and this is where my dilemma comes to haunt me. Although the family most certainly deserves and needs prayer to heal and cope, the curmudgeon lying in the hospital blaming everyone but himself while going through life weighed down by grudges, anger, and hate without love needs my prayers the most. And so I am trying to work up the strength with the help of Christ to genuinely pray for a man incapable of loving.

1 comment:

  1. Forgiveness without reconciliation is difficult and a constant emotional, psychological and spiritual battle for the one waiting for and hoping that the other person will address the "if only"s... It seems as though you've forgiven him in your heart, which is all you can do. I'm not sure there's anything wrong with acknowledging the character of others - ugly as it may be. It would be disingenuous to pretend he is something he, in fact, is not. I commend you for leaning on the strength of Jesus to pray for your grandfather, in spite of the truth and the past. We're given family in Christ because sometimes our biological family doesn't feel or act like family at all. I love your heart and honesty, J Me.