I just finished reading a speech Vice President Joe Biden gave at Yale University.
It brought tears to my eyes and I was compelled to read it again. This time I grabbed the tissue box, stopped what I was doing and sat wiping freely flowing tears away and sat looking out at the fully blossomed spring trees.
Thunder was in the air and I imagined all the preparations for Beau’s funeral, all the expected things that have to be done. I thought about the widow and the children.
The thunder intensified.
Losing his wife and daughter in a terrible car accident decades ago should be enough. Now his son Beau to brain cancer. And yet he is the model of a jovial, gentle natured man with such love for his wife Jill, children and grandchildren and the importance of family first.
I have often thought that he would be, as the Native Americans say “good medicine” for President Obama who did not have the presence of his own father in his life.
And as I sat thinking about tragedies I began to ruminate about the sudden death of my father from a heart attack when I was fourteen.
Ruminate: the feeling you get when you just can’t stop thinking about something that upsets you. Ruminate: when the hurt, anger, disappointment, despair, frustration do not go away.
I ruminated for years about my father’s death. You see, we had a very minor argument about getting the dishes done because I was procrastinating and said “I WILL DO THE DISHES WHEN I AM READY, NOT WHEN YOU TELL ME TO.”
I was fourteen and creating boundaries for myself. At any other time that would have been fine except….. in the middle of the night, before the ambulance arrived he died.
For years I ruminated, blamed myself for his death. Felt the guilt and it showed in all my other relationships.
RUMINATING SHOWED UP AT WORK
When I was a manager and a team leader if anyone decided to leave for a new job and it was sudden, I was furious. I never understood the connection with my dad’s sudden departure.
Starting my own company I decided that it was time to find the connections between patterns of behavior from childhood and how that connects with adult responses.
In “Don’t Bring It to Work” I have put together all the information and research from looking at these patterns that cause us to ruminate and not let go.
In our GUTSY WOMEN WEEKEND the focus is on how girls learn to be pleasers or martyrs or rescuers and what to do about it.
As I thought about my dad and the many years it took me to let go of the pain I found myself back with Joe Biden. And as my appreciation of him found a place in my heart and a thank you for being a model of living life to its fullest, the pouring rain storm and thunder stopped.
The earth smells fresh and as the Native American lore would say this is a cleansing rain to help us move past the past into the present.