August 17, 2012
(This message addresses the issues brought up in the previous post and the comments that followed it.)
Thank you all so much for your concern about Alice, Essie, and Lucille, and for your passionate, insightful, and interesting comments. It always makes me happy to be reminded of the quality of human being who reads this blog.
The frustration has died down a bit, and I’ve been thinking a lot about what you’re all saying.
I’ve asked Alice several times in the past few days about why she could not tell Lucille the truth, but she can’t answer that question. The last time I asked, she said that she was getting sick from the conversation and that we really had to stop talking about it.
Knowing her as I do, my best guess about the answer is that Alice thinks that if Essie chose not to tell her daughter about Wim Pederson, how can it possibly be her place to do so? Her loyalties are to Essie, not Lucille. Essie was a family favorite and a friend, and she suffered from all this. Alice was thirteen at the time. She chose her path way back then based on her love for her cousin. She’s sticking to it.
Alice is among the Old Old now. She’s more frail mentally and emotionally than she was even last year. My primary obligation is to be her caretaker. Although there are unconscious actions in all of our lives, I know her well enough to say that I’m 100 per cent certain that she did not send that e-mail to me in order for me to betray her loyalty to Essie. If she still owned a car, the bumper sticker would read “Daughter is my co-pilot.” She now runs everything by me that has to do with anything outside her immediate world, especially correspondence. She worries about her handwriting, her keyboarding, her phrasing, the way she comes across. In this case, she wanted help with wording about how to sidestep Lucille’s question but, to her surprise and distress, I didn’t want to help with that.
I went back through old e-mails and saw that she has forwarded me other messages from Lucille in the past. I have no question about Truth’s value, but from what I can glean of Lucille’s character, fragile in its own way, I don’t think an e-mail would be helpful. It would, for example, leave her alone to work out the fact that her cousins are really her half brothers and sisters (or were; many of them are dead too).
So today I remain puzzled, but this puzzlement is more about execution and timing than content. Lucille will get the truth if she really wants it, and she’ll get it from me, I reckon. At the moment I’m just not sure how or when. Some of you have given me ideas about how, at some point, I might start the approach at least through e-mail.
Thank you again for your wisdom and for putting forth your votes for peace, compassion, healing, ethics, truth, witnessing, peace of mind, freedom from guilt, clarity, sanity, owning our own stories, decency, and more, and for being on this journey with Alice and me, but most especially thank you for being who you are, each and every.
P.S. After I posted that photograph of Essie on the porch, I decided to click on it yesterday (that makes it larger) and what did I see but a baby (or very young child) peeking around the corner of the railing. I’ve looked at that photograph many times over the years and have never seen that little face. That’s Alice’s family porch, and there was no baby or young child in the household at that time. It’s so small that I thought for a moment I might be imagining it, so I asked a friend to check. She saw it too. It could not have been Lucille, who wasn’t yet born. Maybe the Great Spirit of Babyness wanted to weigh in on all this too. Take a look: