According to Instagram and Facebook it looks like everyone stuffed themselves and had a good time with family!

I was thinking yesterday how blessed I am to have siblings.  As you get older you think about being alone more and more.  My parents are gone and have been for over 20 years.  I remember when my Mom was dying.....she told all 4 of us that we need to stick together.  No matter what.

We might disagree about things but we are all we have now.  I think I have blogged about this before but I was so lucky to have Eleanor "Sis" Crawford Jackson as my Mom.  She taught me about real love and forgiveness.


She had to forgive herself for doing something that goes against her very core.  Give up a child for adoption.....which we learned about after her death.

The facts are kind of fuzzy as it was a huge secret and most of her family is gone.  The details aren't really that important but she did try to tell us during the last few days of her life however I think she was still afraid to share..... having kept the secret for over 50 years.  We aren't even sure my Dad knew.

After giving up her child she moved to San Antonio, Texas and met my Dad.  They were married within a couple of weeks and I was born 9 months later.  The picture above defines their relationship....I believe they were meant to be together.....for 45 years until he died of a heart attack at 63.

About a year or so ago my sister got an email from our brother.  He is a few years older that I am........was adopted and had a great life.  He came to Atlanta for a visit.  

I think he wanted to know what his biological Mom was like and maybe have closure on his part about why she gave him up.  We all answered as many questions as we could to help peace together the story.

All of this today is because I was listening to a podcast....Armchair Expert with Dax Sheppard.

His guest was Gordon Keith [who I had not heard of] but the two of them are pretty darn funny together!  Dax was talking about his Dad who he was estranged from until about the last few months of his life.  He talked about resentment and holding a never make peace because you are determined to WIN.  

I know friends who are estranged from a parent....or a child because they feel they have been wronged but I don't think that has to be your identity.  There are many times I have felt victimized in life but I don't want it to define me  because being right is not that important in the end. 

You know like "you'll show them"  "when I die they will be sorry".....I kind of think you are the one who will be sorry. 

I can honestly say that there is NOTHING any of my family could do that I would not forgive.

Whoa...enough preaching.

My sister had us over for dinner since my brother stayed with his family in Hilton Head and my other sister was in California having dinner with her mother in law who is 98, still drives, pays her own bills and walks 2 miles a day!

I was so thankful to have a sister that owns a restaurant [so I did not have to cook....].

We came home and finished up Netflix Narcos Mexico.

Quiet times.



Erika Ward said...

For those who want to make a change, the holidays provide the perfect “excuse” to reach out and to reconcile. Life is too short for grudges. I’m so happy to know your family welcomed your brother with open arms. As you know we had a similar situation in my family. I can’t imagine being without my sister now.

haverfordmom said...

Had a giant argument with my daughter this morning, after reading your post I felt like God directed me to your blog (happens to be my fav)! Thank you for always being so open! You are so special!


Regina S. said...

True words and beautifully said. Forgiveness is for yourself. I absolutely love your blog!

The Grey Dove Cottage said...

Beautifully written, your Mom sounds like she was a amazing lady. How difficult it must have been for her to hold that secret. Society is much different today. It's hard not to fall into the "victim" mindset, much easier than learning to let go. Like you, I strive to keep relationships close regardless of things that happen or are said. We all have our moments when our brutally true thoughts fly from our mouths which are often best left unsaid. Wise thoughts to live by; to never hold a grudge and keep your siblings close. In so many ways they are the keepers of your childhood. How wonderful you are getting to know your brother. Thank you for sharing. Happy Holidays -

Anonymous said...

This is the best post you have ever written; I am so moved by it. You are right, but more importantly, you are in such a good place mentally and emotionally to be able to tell all of this to the world - good for you, Sherry. Your mother was obviously a beautiful person, inside and out. Times were so different then. We had a similar situation in my family, but the mother kept the child. I think they were both judged for it, which is unfair. It was quite the scandal and very hush hush when we were growing up. How wonderful that your brother sought you and your siblings out and came to see you! This post is a lovely tribute to your mother and your sisters and brothers. Thank you for taking the time to write it and put it out there. I believe I can truly say that I know how you feel; over half of my family is gone, so I am hanging on tight to the few that are left. -Judith

Anonymous said...

I agree with the above commenter. This is a wonderfully inspiring post about forgiveness and family secrets. I will think about it for a long time. Every family has some deep long-buried secrets, that is certain. It would be a blessing to have siblings who have your attitude - the idea that there is nothing that any of them could do which you could not forgive. I have a different situation, in that my only living sibling did something so egregious years ago that it would still be really hard to forgive. He never visited my mother and rarely communicated at all with any of our Southern family, choosing to live the life of a mountain man out West since the age of about 20. He did not lift a finger to help me or even communicate except to ask what he was going to inherit when she was in her declining years, nor when she was dying. However, he has never owned up to his shortcomings or apologized, yet after his wife died of early onset Alzheimer's, he reached out to all manner of distant relatives he dredged up on FB and wrote long-winded epistles about how he had been wronged by his mother and me. So -- does he deserve forgiveness? I don't know. Maybe God will forgive him. I still haven't been asked, so that is a moot point, I suppose.

Angie said...

Such true words, Happy Holidays!!

Gina B. said...

Thank you for such a lovely Thanksgiving sentiment!
So appreciative that you shared a truly meaningful story.
So thankful there is not a shopping list of junk to buy.
Your Mom would be proud.

June Pope said...

Sherry, this was amazing to read today after spending Thanksgiving away from some of my family this year. I missed them! You were right on the money when you said there’s nothing your siblings could do that was unforgivable. My 2 older brothers and I have always held that sentiment. I’ve always felt that the”grudge” you hold eats at you more than the person you hold it against. Withholding forgiveness is not an option for me, especially with family.
Your mother did what she had to do in an era where single mothers were not cool. I wish she could have known her first son, but at least you know, have met him and feel you’ve set your mother free of her secret. This was extremely personal for you and I thank you for sharing.

barbara said...

How nice to read this. What a spectacular lady your mother was. My mom passed in April, I miss her so much. It's unreal.
Families have family stuff but I am thankful to for the siblings that still participate in our lives. The other two, I don't miss but wish them well.
My Thanksgiving was so wonderful, it was a memory for a lifetime!

Back to Top