Friday, September 25, 2009

The Gift

I could be a grandfather any day now. A little while ago, my daughter (and mother-to-be) Emily emailed me a photo of her in late pregnancy, looking radiantly beautiful. The picture brought back fond memories of my first marriage, when my wife and I were anticipating the birth of Emily.

I related this to Emily on the phone, what a precious time this must be for her and husband, Hamish. Soon after the conversation, I had a bolt from the blue:

I had just recalled a pleasant memory from my first marriage!

My first marriage lasted seven years. Somewhere, the marriage went sour. No bad reflection on Gail, or myself, for that matter. We were two good people caught in a bad situation, beyond our abilities to resolve. We stayed in this bad situation way longer than we should have. By the time we acknowledged the inevitable, the damage had been done. The trauma and hurt of the bad times was driving me crazy. My brain responded the only way it could under the circumstances - by going into a protective amnesia that locked away the good memories along with the bad.

That way, over time, I could put my marriage behind me and move on, not necessarily whole, but in one piece.

My marriage broke up a quarter century ago, when Emily was five. Now, here she is with Hamish, experiencing moments beyond precious. Yes, I remember. I do remember. Thank God, I remember.


megs said...

John, I'm excited for you that you'll be a Grandpa really soon. You will love it and this child will be a Blessing to all of you.

Thanks for solving a mystery for me. I only have bad memories. 'Protective amnesia' explains that. My PDoc said that there were so many bad things that happened, that they overwhelmed anything pleasant.

Sure hope you're able to post a picture of the newest member of your family.


John McManamy said...

Hi, Megs. I'll definitely post a pic as soon as I receive it. From - Granddad in waiting. :)

Lucy Talikwa said...

John -- How happy and excited you must be! Your daughter is a gift; she will bring another living gift -- soon. And she's has brought another gift: this good memory. Thrice blessed by your daughter. A good day. (My youngest is an Emily, just age 15 -- So you have me beat. Right now I just want to survive HER mood swings AND mine well enough to actually make it to grandma-hood!!) And yes -- post pics!

John McManamy said...

Hey, Lucy. Emily's are the greatest! :) Many thanks -