I was just driving at night through one of the last remaining industrial areas up the river.
There is a labor lockout going on. I contributed whatever cash I had to the striker’s fund in memory of my Mom.
She was a big supporter of labor among other causes. (I eschewed politics after a fashion)
I remember her raising money for the Harlan County strikers and later Steelworkers many years ago and supporting the local unemployment food pantries.
So I wanted, there on that little road in the dark, to do something to honor her memory and the causes she loved.
She never did see me run.
We didn’t always get along.
It took us years to get along better.
I know advice is painful. But here it is.
Stage One of a feud with a family member is revenge. You want to hurt them like they hurt you, so every interaction is poisoned by your desire to punish them.
Stage Two: You want to make them better people so you can get along with them, but it only seems like constant criticism and judgment.
Stage Three: You want them to be ‘happy’ because they seem so unhappy, but you never find a way to make them happy.
Stage Four: Accept and love them for who they are whether they acknowledge your pain, treat you better, or they don’t.
It’s about how you feel when they leave this earth. Did I do right by them? Is my conscience clear? Was I kind and did I put love first instead of my own feelings?
If the answer to such questions is yes, then you have done OK and you can be at peace.