“Oh, Yeah, Sorry about Your Father”
More Thoughts on People

Pillars, Crutches, and Other Manner of Support Systems

As I lay in bed the other night trying to fall asleep with used tissues littering the floor, it occurred to me that beyond the pain of my father’s death, his loss was not just the loss of a father who could be counted on to exhibit and act on his concern for me on a daily basis but it was the loss of any remnant of being the beloved daughter as she was cared for in childhood. Not childhood in a child’s sense, but in the sense that in some families a child knows that her problems can be shared with her parents throughout her life (shared as in expressed, which somehow shifts the burden).

Now, I share my mother’s problems. I am her ears and shoulders when she needs to have someone listen to what she did that day and how she is feeling or doing that day. It is not right, or I don’t feel that it is right, to seriously share with her my thoughts and concerns. It’s not that she doesn’t ask me how I am doing and wants to honestly hear, but for once I realize that she just doesn’t need my unburdening. No, I need to be her vessel. Maybe this is a step in the maturity of a child, a bit late, but such was the relationship that I had with my parents.

During most of my marriage and before the divorce, when things were getting bad but not bad enough yet to act on them, I held all counsel within. Then, when it reached the point that I would drive away, week after week, from the house in tears and fear for my life, I finally broke down and called my parents. They became my pillars. They gave me money to hire a divorce lawyer. They listened to me as stories tumbled out about their “son”-in-law’s fierce nastiness. To them I could unendingly vent as I couldn’t with friends. What friend could really listen to the unbroken story of a broken heart as she is trying to live through the dramas of her own life?

Was it selfish that I unburdened on my parents? I don’t know. I know that it was too hard to deal with the pain of my life on my own and they were there to levitate the pain as much as possible.

And now, now I need to be here to help shift the burden of my mother’s pain and emptiness, and fears.

For my daughters I need to remain chief booster and boaster. That is what they need and deserve. That is what I have been trained to be.

Perhaps the time has finally come for me stand firm. Maybe I don’t need anyone to hold my tissue box for me. At first I thought that I still needed to be propped up, but now I am starting to feel like one of those blocks that stays in place even when the blocks around it have been removed. I stay in place only because those blocks transferred their power and strength to me.



Your last sentence said it all. Your parents did what they were supposed to do, and you are doing what you are supposed to do.


You had extraordinary parents who gave you exactly what you needed when you needed it. It is a sad thing when change comes that takes from us our rock; our love. But, as you are discovering, you are capable and ready to take your place a little higher on the ladder. I keep you all in my thoughts.


As your daughters needed you, I think your parents were perfectly fine to have you need them during that time. But there is a fluidity to needing, loving, nurturing as our lives change. At least this way, you know your mother's needs are being met.

Laura of Rebellious Thoughts of a Woman

Bonnie, when I started writing this piece I had no idea that this is where I would end it, that this is the realization that I entered.

rockync, you always--always--say things that move me. You have become another rock in my collection.

April, fluidity, yes, the give and take of understanding what another needs. I guess that could be a definition of love.


I agree with all above. You were lucky that your parents did all what they were supposed to do as parents, love you and support you. It does not matter how old you are, your parents should always be there for you. That what happened to you - and to me as well - and that's what I want to do for my children, be there for them as long as I can. Hold on tight. Ciao. A.


Laura, thank you. I consider it an honor to be one of your rocks and I cannot tell you how much your writings have spoken to me and given me food for thought.
May this mutual adoration club never end! :)
Peace & Love, Always, Rocky


Laura, your parents helped you because they love you and you are there for your mom because you love her and that's what people do when they love each other. Imagine how your parents would have felt if the learned that you were simply suffering in silence. At least they were able to take comfort in the fact that they were able to give you comfort.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)