Wednesday, January 24, 2007


Sharp change in tone for the blog here for a moment. I don't know how much to write about this, but I need to write something. Please bear with me for a minute. This will be oblique, and it's mostly for my own benefit. This is my small mountaintop that I can shout from*. And if I don't do a little shouting, I'm going to sit here curdling in something. No, thank you.

*Yes, the participle dangled. I'd love to stop caring about that. That rule should go. I am tired of it.

I found out some things today about two family members who are no longer living, who are a couple of generations removed. I'm not going to name names or be specific about what I found out, because relatives may read this and it would be unfair. But what I found out made me sick, it made me angry, and because they're dead and there's no way I can confront them, it made me feel helpless.

What do you do when you suddenly find yourself angry at someone who has died? What do you do?

I can't say what they did, but I have to, so here's how I'm going to do it.

The first person, a male, did this: XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
The second person, a female, did this: She stood by and watched something, and didn't intervene.

Again, I'm sorry this is so vague. It has to be that way.

I'm glad I learned what I did because it's the truth, and the truth is illuminating. I'm angry that I have this knowledge because it's ugly and I don't want to hold it. I want these people who have died to hold it.

I took Dave to the chiropractor today, and when we were driving home it was late afternoon. The cloud formations were strange and stunning in that sunset light. There was a row of clouds over the freeway that looked like mournful orange faces poking out of the heavens, and I wanted those faces to be there for what I found out today. I wanted those to be the remorseful faces of my ancestors, or the grave faces of disapproving gods.

The clouds in the picture are someone else's. I didn't take a picture of my clouds from today. It's just as well. Those faces wouldn't have translated, just like you can't take a picture of ghosts.


Anonymous said...

What do you do? I guess you rant and rave at your support network (Dave or whomever -- perhaps whomever told you the truth) for a while, and then realize that what those people did THEY own -- not you. If what they did affected/affects someone still living you have some avenues for concrete action, but otherwise, you rant and rave and then you put it (and them, and sometimes whatever respect or love you had for them) to rest in your own mind, because it was their problem, their error. You be grateful that you have the strength and knowledge and character and live in the circumstances which allow you NOT to do what they did -- be grateful you live with people who wouldn't do what they did and who see it as as reprehensible as you see it. Time is likely the only thing that makes your anger at them for not being those types of people go away, but you can feel gratitude for your circumstances at the same time that you're waiting to be less pissed at them. I think. It doesn't sound like it was a fun revelation.

Tina Rowley said...

Thanks, Shortie. That was a really thoughtful reply.

Anonymous said...

Well, I can say this:

When my grandfather died we found out he'd been having a ten year long affair. He had keep journals on the details and let them in a place relatively easy for my grandmother to find upon his death. He left my grandmother nothing except a townhouse they'd been renting out. The house they'd lived in for the greater part of their marriage was willed to be sold and the profits to be divided among his surviving children.

On the other hand, he was a wonderful grandfather. He loved me and my sister and was fun to play with. He was a difficult man to deal with for other adults. Moody, cantankerous, demanding.

We grieve our perception of their perfection.