SERIES: LETTERS I NEVER WROTE
I enjoyed the lunch we had together in June with some of the family. But what I didn’t enjoy was the oozing of anger that I could feel coming from you. I have noticed this before. I feel like you are holding onto your past in a way that swells into bitterness. That, oddly enough, is not the reason I am writing to you. And sadly, I have come to accept that anger and bitterness in most of our conversations. It has taken me a long time to understand that and to let go of any responsibility or guilt for it.
Why I am writing to you is because you accused me of not knowing, understanding or caring about my roots. I know you are unhappy that I have moved away from my family and my birthplace. And to you, I think that means I somehow don’t care about who I am and where I come from. Because you look at it as a personal rejection.
Everyone connects to their roots differently. For me, unlike you, it doesn’t mean I try to act like my parents or play the role of a child. I value where I come from, and my child values where he comes from as well. Just because I don’t eat off the same china that you did, or use the same placemats that my grandmother used doesn’t mean I don’t value my roots. I feel bad for you that you can’t move past your own anger and grow. I feel bad that you don’t try to understand me and my decisions. Because if you care and love me like you say you do, then you wouldn’t accuse me of not loving my roots and you would instead TALK to me. Show interest in my life, ask me about the kind of person my roots made me to be and where they have taken me since. I don’t think you really care about that. And that tells me that you are stuck in the past and can’t appreciate the here and now.
We are here now. My grandparents are gone. Start building connections with your present. I appreciate my family and history more than you know, and I even wanted to visit our ancestral homeland with you and the family, to SEE where we come from, those roots. And you have all the excuses in the world not to go, not to seize the present and share it with me. Dad, I don’t make excuses. I am proud of my family history, my roots. And I am proud of how I am raising my son. And if you don’t want to miss out, you better pull your head out of the past and get to know the people who are alive in your life now. We have a lot to share. Welcome us, as we are.