There are boundaries in blogging so I can’t tell you the story I want to tell you in full detail but I’ll share a few pieces and we’ll see whether this makes a coherent story or not.
Not sure how successful I will be because I have deleted and rewritten this second paragraph three times now. Not because the story didn’t make sense because it did.
But somethings can’t be put out for general consumption because I don’t have full ownership of the tale. If I told you I suggested someone lower their arm before I tore it off and beat them over the head with it you would ask why.
If I said I once scared my son when I raised my voice because I was shouting while trying to protect someone else you might ask for some details.
He was about three and I was loud but sometimes you shout because there is an imminent danger.
If I told you that your children are forever your children regardless of age and you are a parent you would likely understand.
I did not shout at anyone today or make anyone cry but I made sure I had the full attention of another person.
All seemed to work out quite well…I think.
Upon my return to the house the younger Mr. Wilner cocked his head to the side in some surprise and waited for my explanation.
I smiled and said an understanding was reached.
He told me he was fairly certain of what I had intended to do, “I read you pretty well.”
I nodded my head and told him about the time his great-grandfather told me he was going to New Jersey to get his son.
Grandpa was in his early nineties and dad was in the hospital recovering from a triple bypass.
I told grandpa that it wasn’t going to happen and that the docs hadn’t said he was going to be discharged yet. But I appreciated why he wanted to go and then grandpa blasted me.
It is one of the few arguments we had and it had less to do with me and more with his frustration that he couldn’t just go get him.
But I remember seeing the anger in his eyes and the sound of his voice.
We both ended up yelling at each other and then it was done. I told grandpa I understood and asked him what either of us could do to change it.
I smiled and said “I know” and thought about how my father’s words were like his own father’s. No surprise there at all, but it was different for me because my grandfather never raised his voice with me. I can count on one hand the number of times he said something that wasn’t rooted in praise.
So I looked at the younger Mr. Wilner and told him there is a long history of Wilner men looking out for the younger.
He isn’t a father so I don’t expect him to have the full understanding of what that means but he is an older brother and among the best kind of friend you can have.
So he understands looking out for others and giving back. Heck, this past week he did several things that made it clear he has become the kind of man I hoped he would be.
That suggests there was doubt and there never was but there were moments where he made me shake my head which makes me snort because I know my dad had to have shaken his head about some choices I made too.
It is part of growing up and becoming our own person.
Got several unanswered questions and nothing but time to watch, wait and see what comes of certain things.
Recognized that some things came about because of past silences and can’t decide how I feel about some of that. Might not make much of a difference at all, or maybe it makes all the difference.
What I know is that when I tied my shoes and grab my keys as I walked out the door I had a very specific idea about the conversation I wanted to have.
Upon my return I replayed it in my head and considered what Dad would have said. I haven’t decided yet which direction I think he would have gone.
I am not looking for his approval or anyone else, but I am curious.
Genetics are a funny thing.
I can still see my ninety year old grandfather stand straighter and grow taller. Kids bring that out of you huh.