It Didn’t Matter Anymore, Grandpa

I don’t feel like the issue was fully resolved. I don’t feel that you completely understood where I was coming from or just how much you hurt me in those years of disconnect.  I don’t think you fully took responsibility for your part in it, though you apologized in your own way-not really ever using the words “I’m sorry.”

But it got to a point that I didn’t care. I hated not having you in my life and not really knowing my kids. I hated them not knowing you-the man who had had an immeasurable impact on who and what I had become.  The hole didn’t go unnoticed. I spoke of you often and then, like today, I felt you in many of my words and actions. There were many, many days in which I wanted to let it all go, and I would call you and see that you were still bitter. I don’t blame you entirely, perhaps I could have put in more effort.

I know that in that time (the few years in which we only spoke a couple of times a year), all the comments you made about being disappointed in me, or about my “head not being in this world” came from a place of hurt.  I know from experience, that pain often manifests itself as anger and bitterness. I know it was hard for you when I “stopped needing you” as much, as my own family was forming. What you didn’t understand was that I still needed you, just in different ways.

So, perhaps the God-ordained timing was just right, perhaps we were both at a place in which it didn’t matter anymore, but that one summer visit changed it all.  I am thankful that I had an “excuse” to come over to see my Aunt, (I’m not sure I would have come otherwise,) so I could see that the bitterness was gone. I felt we were finally both in a place to let it all go and just be Grandpa and Cyndy again. I told you I was sorry I had stayed away so long, and you told me I had misunderstood the things you had said to me about not finishing college to stay home with my son, and the comments you made about me homeschooling the kids as they got older, and that you didn’t mean it the way I took it. In my mind I disagreed, I still thought you had meant them exactly as I took them, but at that point it didn’t matter anymore. You told me you were never truly disappointed in me, and I took that. It was enough. You were 87, I believe, and I knew we were limited on time.

We found out a year later that cancer was widespread and aggressive. My emotions were so mixed as I was thankful that we had reconnected, and deeply saddened that we didn’t have more time. My older kids would remember you, but my little guy definitely wouldn’t.  I was thankful that you got to see me in my girls and it brought you back to when I was that age. And I will forever be thankful for that visit, right after I found out about the cancer, when it was just you and I, and I was your little girl again. It could have been 25 years prior and it was just us.  We reminisced about the past and you retold your favorite stories about us, and we laughed, and I cried. I told you that I wished we had more time. You said, “I guess our time was always limited, we just didn’t know how limited.” More words of wisdom, Grandpa-good for everyone to remember.


Why I Love 19 Kids and Counting, What I Admire About Michelle Duggar, and How I Feel About the Recent Development

I’ll start by saying that of course, I don’t know Michelle Duggar personally. I know what I see on T.V. or what I’ve read online.  However, based on those experiences, she has been a source of encouragement and valuable ideas to me and my girls. What I have really liked is that she doesn’t pretend to be perfect.  She is open about her past indiscretions: her eating disorder, her lack of modesty, her physical contact before marriage.

She exhibits a grace that I admire.  She speaks gently and kindly to her children, even when correcting them.  That can be difficult to do, especially when a parent is very disappointed with a child’s behavior.  It tells me that either she is a very good actress when the cameras are rolling, or she has the love of Christ flowing through her. I choose to give her the benefit of the doubt and believe the latter.  It’s more uplifting to me.

Something else I have noticed is that though she has many children, she makes an attempt to have an individual relationship with all of them. I have noticed that I have to make a concerted effort to take the time to listen to, and give my undivided attention to my older children. Squeaky wheels tend to get the grease and babies and toddlers sure do squeak! Yet I have seen Michelle take the time to go to coffee with and engage in one-on-one conversations with her older children.  Then she has spoken in her camera interviews about how important it is to do that.

19 Kids and Counting has been a blessing to us.  The show has been a respite in a way from a lot of the other shows on T.V. that expose my children to things I would rather them not experience yet.  We have been able to sit together and enjoy a program that is actually edifying and uplifting.

Recently I have felt horrible about the comments I have seen online about the family.  I think people must forget that public figures are real people. I actually saw one commenter excuse the abhorrent comments he/she made by writing that by opening themselves up to the public they deserve and should expect any comments that are made about them.  I was looking for information on whether or not TLC was planning on cancelling the show permanently and had to quit searching because the comments and articles I was finding were literally making me nauseated.  My spirit was hurt.

I have girls, and I agree with Josh Duggar’s comment that his behavior as a teen was “inexcusable.”  However, I also agree with Mike Huckabee that it is not “unforgivable.”  I have been so thankful for God’s grace in my life. He extends it to everyone.  I wish it were easier for we imperfect people to do the same.  It’s amazing how a perfect God can show grace for even the most reprehensible of acts, but we humans, who also make numerous mistakes cannot.  I think by showing utter disdain and hatred of those who make mistakes, people believe it will show how righteous they are.  Unfortunately, what they don’t seem to understand is that the opposite is true.