You mother has called me, and she has expressly asked whether I could spend a couple of words about the following issue, apparently believing that I could be more contiguous to your way of thinking as far as the register of births could tell - which by the way I found somewhat flattering: I am forty, and I wish
I could be more contiguous to your twenties.
It seems she judges that given my somewhat troubled past with my mother (L***, but who is that never
had a troubled past with L***?), I could be more suited to provide some sort of advice.
So, it appears I ought to distil kind of a quintessence from my past experience, deliver it to you, and wave goodbye.
It could be such, if I look back in retrospective: difficult relationships with parents constitute normalcy
in every family. Tolstoy wrote that "all happy families are alike, and every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way": I at times wondered if he saw that many of the former, because I didn't. But only those who have a flat electroencephalogram never had arguments with their parents.
However, they are our parents, and not super-heroes. They had to cope with their own difficulties in life, all to frequently as ill equipped as it happens to all of us as well, and they had to fight adversities and personal problems that so often were so very far from being simple; and like anyone else they share a common problem: they are clumsy and awkward at expressing their love for us, their children.
Yet I find that when we rear a protracted diffidence towards them, it is because we have been disappointed not really by them, but by the ideal icon we entertain of them and upon whose ruler we measure them.
Overcoming issues with this or that parent does not mean doing a favour to the parent: it means doing it to ourselves.
I was reading a few days ago, on the newspaper, that there is a mother who has beaten to death a daughter as beautiful as sunshine (baby grace
): thanks God these are not the parents that fate has allotted to us.
Therefore, whenever possible and if possible, let's remember that forgiving is difficult, but spending the rest of a life with a regret or with a difficult relationship never reconciled, is no better.
I know it may be easier said than done - when you hear a parent on the phone, all our ghosts may come back to haunt us and we can all too easily show how good we are at short tempers. But if a parent of ours lacks a virtue we would appreciate, what about providing him or her with our own version of it?
Mediating is not the virtue of the weak: it is that of the strong.
Mediating is a luxury that betrays our inner richness: because only those who have been reduced to own but one thing, cannot afford to share.