Yesterday I watched a movie where the “prodigal” son came home after being kicked out of the house by his father six years earlier. He was a good boy with a rotten father who had never told the son he loved him. In fact at one point earlier in the movie when the son asked him if he liked him. The father stated that by law he was not required to like him. By law, he had to clothe, feed, and house the boy but that was it. He didn’t have to like his son, legally he was just his responsibility. Now the father could have thrown him a bone and at least told him he loved him. That is what I was hoping for as I waited with bated breath, except it never happened. He left it at that and you could actually see the devastation on the boys face at this revelation.
Being that the father had never been shown love by his own father. It boggled my mind that he wasn’t more sensitive to his own child. That he didn’t show him every single day that his son was worthy of his love. It hit me hard as I too have the same kind of relationship with my mother.
When the son returns six years later it was for his father’s funeral. He had joined the Navy and had actually made something of himself, unlike his father. At first, he refused to go due to his history with his father. Then his mother said something that actually shook me to my core.She began to cry and tell him that not going to his father’s funeral was unacceptable. She said she knew he and his father had not got along in the past but HIS DAD LOVED HIM THE ONLY WAY HE KNEW HOW. I was so stunned that I was speechless.
It got me thinking about my relationship with my mother. We no longer speak and in her mind, she has never done anything to me. I cut her out of my life for my own sanity. I was forced to cut ties because of our past. However, I pose this question to all my readers. Did I do the right thing? Is it better to have cut ties with someone that clearly can show no love or do I try to continue a relationship because she may love me but she only shows it in the only way she knows how?
Am I getting softer here that I may be now changing my thinking or was I correct in cutting out the bad apple from my bushel before it ruined me too? I am confused because I whole-heartedly believe that if she wanted to change she could. I am a prime example that you don’t have to be like your parents. I made the concentrated effort to change. I lavish my kids with love and light. I try daily to show them I love them as well as tell them. So the question remains Was I right? Or is there some wiggle room to this movie revelation?
In the end, the son agreed to go to the funeral. I don’t want to be that person. That person that doesn’t see their parent until they are burying them and yet, I can’t help but think she deserves what she gets. She created the world where neither of her children speak, to her. Maybe this movie revelation was my heart’s way of saying it has healed enough that I can even contemplate forgiveness, but the stubbornness I inherited from my mother still prevents me from picking up the phone. What do you think?