Saturday, August 25, 2012

Just Some Thoughts...

      Conversations with several people about hurtful memories prompted me to write this.  I just needed to get some thoughts off my chest - shout at the void, so to speak - to clear my mind.  Out of respect for readers, and my immediate family, I try to avoid such topics (and I will NOT go into specifics), but the issue comes up from time to time.

     So...painful memories.  We all have them, right?  It certainly is worse when those memories are associated with family.  I have older family members who are reluctant to share much if any stories about Streeter.  They would probably be surprised to know that I know quite a bit about certain incidents that may or may not have influenced their opinions.  Now, let me be clear, I understand that sometimes people are just not interested at all in family history.  That is a different matter altogether.

     When I was a child (about 8 years old) my grandmother was in her 80s.  I was young, but pretty alert for a kid.  Nothing escaped my attention, especially family dirt.  Those stories got passed down from generation to generation.  We all make mistakes.  Some of us are just lucky that we kept them a secret.  I certainly wouldn't want everyone to know the very stupid decisions I've made.  I learned a long time ago to accept myself 100%.  If you look for people to affirm your every decision, both past and present, you will be a very unhappy and bitter person.

     I did not start this research before knowing a lot of these stories in the first place.  I don't worship my ancestors, and I certainly understand they made decisions that for some people are unforgivable.  I don't have any easy solutions for this (for the people who are still angry).  Speaking from my own experience, I find forgiveness to be the ultimate antidote to some of the small-minded, petty, or outrageous things that people say and do.  It certainly makes things more difficult when these people are "family" or related in some way.  But, I have found growth from having the courage to love and forgive.

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