I continue to be amazed sometimes at the volatility of family situations among people I know.
Every Tuesday morning I have breakfast with a group of guys from my church, and we talk about all kinds of things - our work, our lives, UT sports, religion, politics, our wives, our kids, etc. One in particular has an estrangement from his father, which is an open wound to him that refuses to heal. This friend is the one whose younger brother committed suicide a couple years ago, and left behind a pregnant wife. The baby is now pushing two, and my friend's dad (the boy's grandfather) refuses to have anything to do with his grandson or his daughter-in-law.
Another guy has a father who also refuses to have anything to do with a grandson - this grandchild is the son of the friend's brother, who died when he was only 21 or so. For 20+ years, this grandson has grown up only with his mom, but had grandparents who didn't want anything to do with him. Whether the boy was a painful reminder of the son the grandparents had lost, or if there was something else I don't know. The same friend's father-in-law has a set of grandkids that were the result of artificial insemination, and whose mom (their daughter) was disowned for deciding to live with another woman and have kids that way.
Convoluted and strange, huh?
For whatever sins the children may or may not have done, or continue doing, the horrible injustice these grandparents are doing to their grandkids can't be denied, and is in my mind much worse. As much as I try my best to understand, a certain "old school" mentality among people of that generation offers pride as some sort of twisted badge of honor, and much too many people wear it proudly.
Tomorrow night is the kids' Christmas musical at our church. Both mine and my wife's parents will be there, happily, proudly, to watch Tink and Brainyboy sing and perform. We'll all be going to my in-laws house Thursday night for chili after Brainyboy's recital, and we'll be visiting both houses at various times this holiday season where my kids can expect to be showered with love and affection from the grandparents.
I don't say this to be boastful or prideful, only that we are truly blessed and fortunate to have parents who care enough about their grandchildren to always want to be involved, to be part of their lives and to be that link to their heritage. I hope that Laura and I will be the same type of grandparents to our grandchildren someday - and I'm sure we will, because we continue to have great examples to follow.