My cousin shared shocking news with me

believeI was talking with my cousin yesterday and he shared something that shocked me. That knocked me off my feet. That I was totally unprepared to hear. But that I’m glad I did.

I was telling him about my new agent and my blog. And then probably sharing something about what one of my kids was doing. “Oh,” he said, “When you were little your dad would say that was a no-no.”

“What,” I laughed. I knew Danny would never say anything like that. “That’s funny!”

“No,” my cousin answered. “Seriously, that’s what he would say. I remember watching both your parents when you were little and thinking about how well they loved you and much they loved you.” He paused. “Until they didn’t show it as much,” he started again. “But when you were little, they were so caring and loving.”

“Wow,” was all I could reply. I didn’t expect to hear what he told me. I almost couldn’t fathom it. “When I was in trauma therapy,” I shared, “my therapist asked me to remember, to picture, my parents loving me when I was little and I could come up with nothing. Wow!”

“Sorry if I shouldn’t have shared that,” he answered.

“No, that’s fine. It’s okay. It’s great actually. It’s great to hear and it’s great to know.”

It is great to hear and it is great to know. And it’s still somewhat unfathomable. That my parents loved me. And showed it. And showered me with attention and care. It’s like a foreign concept. Or in a language I don’t understand. It also gives me the warm and fuzzies, imagining them actively loving and adoring me. Knowing that I had that filling me up when I was little. That when I think there’s a hole in the core of me, maybe, instead, there’s love from when I was little.

It also puts much into perspective. They may not have done a bunch of things “right” after that – whatever “right’” is. They may have had (and may have now) weird ways of showing me they loved me. They may have made choices I hope I would never make. (Although I know I’ll make my own.) But the thought that I was adored when I was little – perhaps I was adored as I think every child (and person) should be – is freeing. And a reason to smile. Shocking, true, but in a good way.

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