Thursday, June 28

a keep off update

Hmmm, it wasn't until I read Donna's comment earlier that I took a minute to think about who near and dear might be a KEEP OFF kind of person. No one immediately came to mind.

And then the phone rang this afternoon. My step-dad.

I'm not going into the long history as it would take pages of posts. Here's the summary. He's a very special part of my life and the lives of my children. When my mom passed away a couple of years ago, our relationship changed as he became more withdrawn and hard to connect with. And did I mention he's known for carrying grudges? He did come to my daughter's wedding as she has always been grandpa's "angel", but only stayed for a moment afterwards. And there's been no contact since. Yup, definitely a KEEP OFF situation that has been developing over the last couple of years.

BUT when Father's Day came around, the kids sent him a Grandpa card as we always do. And, an unusual thing happened when we picked out that card as I saw one for "step-dad" which spoke the words I felt about I bought it, wrote a brief note, and sent it off. Apparently he also recently received a sweet thank you note from my daughter.

And then he dialed the phone today. And shared how he thought everyone in our family was mad at him and he really wasn't a part of our family anyway because he wasn't a blood relative, and he doesn't hear much from us, and on and on it went. None of it was accurate from my vantage point. However, in his mind it was, he developed a grudge, and put up the KEEP OFF sign as he admitted feeling sorry for himself. Our three notes softened his heart. God is good.

It was a reminder to myself to make the effort to call him once in a while in the midst of our very busy family life, even if he rarely makes the effort to call here. And to send the random note or a hand-drawn kid picture. I had given up those habits since his response was so minimal. And maybe there was a reason for that response by him. A friend suggested that perhaps I reminded him a bit of my mom and he needed to keep that distance while his heart recovered from his loss. I dunno.

I just know I need to encourage others to make the effort....even the smallest effort....for those KEEP OFF people....because you don't know how God may use it to work in someone's life!

Tammy ~@~

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