Grandma never swore, never did anything that her Pastor said was wrong, she was calm and quiet while I grew up around her. She prayed often too, she always talked about the second coming of Christ and exclaimed "Oh Mercy" if I had challenged her as the crazy goofy kid that I was.....
Grandpa was a farmer of perfection spending hours to get trees planted in a perfect row and all those bad weeds out of his land, he cared over every living creature on his land and read his bible in the bay window of his home on the hill for his quested in peace.
My Mother was the oldest, the first to get married and have babies as she told me often how left out she felt in having to raise me while her own mother got to go shopping and out to lunch with her 2 younger sisters.
After I grew older she was more free to join her family on those "Shop til you drop" dates, Those women were always beautiful, always well put together and on top of every new thing being sold out there. Shopping was the common hobby they shared. My mother, my aunts and my grandma were the women of such a generation in consuming and looking perfect.
Perfection is both guarded and maintain in this family even now though much as changed I still recognize it often, I am glad to just let it go........I will never be a perfectionist, a know-it-all, nor could I ever guard myself so that I looked always perfect......but I WILL carry these things in me from all the voices of my past, from all the looks of disapproval I had.
Communication comes from living with grace, admitting that the other person who is talking to you deserves respect and honor no matter if they are living perfectly to your rules or not. Owning my feelings and my words is all apart of how real I am, perfection has it's own place.
The soft glow of the dinner table sat both my parents and Grandparents, while the 3 of us small kids ate on the floor below. Not one word was spoken the whole time as my Grandma's sparkling china was setup for royalty as they ate. I watch them in such oddness over the night, silence and awkwardness flooded them. The weekend before my Father's parents were over and the conversations never died, laughter and loudness filled our home during their stay. In comparing the 2 families as I often did, I liked the more stories, the more laughter and the honest real way people were on my father's side.......in fact I knew very young that I was more like my father then my mother.
To be real, to be honest and not to judge that is a personal choice, a personal quest in seeking the perfect life.
Both of my parents have judged me often. Both sides of the family have good and bad traits. I will carry it all within me over all of my time on this earth.
This I realize my imperfection makes me who I am today! and I am very very free to speak!
Now I realize looking back through out my past that I have escape one of the biggest fears in not measuring up, in not being accepted as one of the good looking family members. Since I never could fit-in, I was spared the heavy burden in sharing those ideas of perfection. It would have been a very lonely world if I couldn't simply just be me!
My mother grabbed my arm hissing in my ear "WE don't talk about this to ANYONE." I swallowed hard by the pain from her sudden grab. My head was rolling around with information as she reacted so suddenly to me,what did I say? I wondered as she quickly straighten up acting like she never saw me there, this was at church so naturally I expected her to do this. I grew up in church, a place I don't like to re-live or remember much now. I guess it is because Church is THE most perfect place on earth where no one is a real sinner there! We all sat in these same rows as big homeschooling families looking perfect, singing perfect and talking perfectly! The crowded silence as the pastor spoke, the half hugs and huge smiles as we left were all apart of being perfect, being a true Christian.
When you tell someone they are going to heaven over hell then naturally their ego grows, with that sense of entitlement and being part of the big group of chosen souls, the desire for perfection takes over! I saw this at such a young age in figuring out the cycle of the human mind I was able to let go of my own sense of entitlement, slowly I gave up on making it to heaven by everyone else's requirements.....it is just to heavy a load to carry. Why would I loose my happiness in order to be better then those around me?
Perfection comes at such a greater cost then in being human and in being real.
Where there is imperfection there is the true ME!
My father would pinch the back of my neck and hiss out his demands or commands over my behavior in my ear so no one would noticed but I recognized my burning throat filling with tears.
My mother would corner me in the ladies restroom, pointing her finger in my face saying "We don't talk about what happens at home to ANYONE." I would simply stare at the floor learning how not to burst out crying.
I guess I could only create perfection by cleaning my bedroom from top to bottom, this was as close to heaven as I was ever going to get and I knew letting my picture frames hang at slant was how I was going to deal with not ever being able to live up to any exceptions.
Perhaps I also realized that my parents knew deep down as I grew up that one day I would be a writer...........AND I would call them out on their lack of perfection in the end.
for the world is made perfect in the end by such Bravery.