|Re: What did your parents think about this nonsence?|
|Re: What did your parents think about this nonsence? -- DCcultmember||Top of thread||Post Reply||Forum|
Parents Of Premies
Good question DCcultmember, it sparked a fragmented childhood memory for me...probably right after my dad's funeral...one where my Grandparents were trying to explain the cult to me, from the viewpoint of their very strict Christian / Military hearts. They were disgusted by the notion of giving up all material possessions and family members, and by the hold the guru had on my dad... It's foggy for me, really dark...I don't remember if I asked any questions, and I suspect that if they were trying to blame my dad for any weirdness I probably tuned them out. So it pushes me to do two things; one, ask my mom about her mom and if she remembers about my dad's parents, and two, remember why I'll never ask the one person who would know...my dad's sister.
The first thing my mom always says when I ask her about the ashram days, is that she really doesn't remember much. That's what she says about Millennium '73...a long boring drive is what sticks with her, not a blissed out weekend and seeing god in person again.
But this time I pushed her a little, "Really? You don't remember if Grandma was upset, or did she ever go with you or try to stop you"? All "no's"...Grandma wasn't happy about any of it, but she did give mom the space to do her own thing and figure it out for herself. I don't remember Grandma ever saying anything about it, good or bad. The one memory Mom did have though as I pushed...her first Drip!
We lived in an old mansion on High Street in Denver...kinda close to the DLM mansion on Race St...that was an ashram we shared with the premies, but we had our own room. I guess it was the good room, all the premies would use it to meditate when she was gone, and they kept moving her alarm clock...the ticking you know...and she started getting pissed. She needed it to be at work on time, you know, to feed her little girl...and it dawned on her...'we're supposed to reach a point where we no longer need or care about material possessions, I can't even deal with my stuff being moved, maybe this isn't for me'. I'm sure Grandma was relieved when we moved out.
As for my Dad's parents, well...I'm a little surprised that they didn't try to kidnap my dad and force him to leave the guru. My Granddad was so hardcore military...Marines...I think the only time he was proud of my dad was when he fought in Vietnam. So controlling and strict...it was always funny to me that he chose another life of control with another man to surrender to. The sad thing is, if we were speaking, I could call my aunt and ask her...but we're not. The last time I saw her was at Granddads funeral about 10 years ago.
Even sadder...I'm fine with it. Sometimes tragedy brings people together, sometimes it rips them apart...dad's suicide ripped us apart...or me anyway...that whole side of the family pretty much let me go...they are all still connected, fucked up as they are...but they never reached out to me...and I therefore never reached out to them. (Dad's mom, my sweet Grandma Anabel...was the only one I stayed close with...we wrote letters to each other until she could no longer write...I love her so much...the first year in my entire life that I didn't get a Valentine from her, was the year I knew she was "gone"...and had to make my peace with her passing without ever knowing when she died...no one bothered to tell me...I hate them).
I know for sure my grandparents blamed the guru and the cult for the suicide. It wasn't until about 20 years later, as he got closer to his own end, that my granddad talked about mistakes that he made with my dad...a while back I posted this excerpt from my book in progress, I'll post it again in case anyone's interested
Catch and Release in the Poudre Valley
Nestled deep in the Colorado Rocky Mountains is a stunning Valley along the Poudre River, just on the outskirts of Colorado State University's home in Fort Collins, where my parents met, where my Dad is buried. A perfect, pristine, rushing white water river, with pockets of glorious mountain surrounded serenity. Perfect for fly fishing. And Soul searching. Gigantic boulders line the banks, perfect for sunbathing. And Soul searching. This is how my parents spent their first summer together, hanging out in the sun, finding peace in nature, and love. I really love listening to my mom recount these days...it's so nice to know that my Dad really did know peace and serenity at times in his life...even after the abuses at home and in the Marine Corp...and before the Guru. Mother Nature gave it to him, just like She does for me. And it adds so much depth and beauty to the fact that is the one thing he wanted to share with me...someday. It also adds depth and sorrow to the fact that we never got the chance.
Granddad loved to tell the story of how he busted my mom for public indecency...he was a Sheriff's Deputy then..."Caught her sunbathing on the docks practically nude!"..."I was NEVER nude!"...she was in her little blue bikini though...such a rebel! My mom always treated grandad with the love and respect his presence commanded, but she never backed down to him for a single second either. He adored her for it too. She always spoke her mind and did what she damn well pleased...respectfully. He admired and respected her personal strength, they had a good relationship.
Mom remembers how my Dad could stand in the sun glistening flowing River for hours, casting the line...listening to the rushing waters spill Her secrets as She danced over the rocks and around him...he could look at a rock and know if a fish was there...always knew exactly where to put the fly...and he always let them go.
Granddad liked to tell the story about little Jimmie casting out his line...that went backwards and landed high up in the tree behind him...he stood there 'fishing' for an hour before anyone told him...there's a black and white photograph of it somewhere...I never did decide if I thought it was as funny as everyone else did...I always kind of wondered if it was more mean than funny...taught him patience I suppose. I sure wish I could have asked my dad what he thought...if he thought it was funny, then I could too.
The only time my Granddad ever expressed regret or sorrow to me, until much much later in his life, was in his story about fishing, and releasing. He had caught a gigantic, beautiful Bass for dinner. When he cut her open, his heart broke when he saw the hundreds of eggs she was about to lay...he explained how important it would be to go ahead and eat her, not to let her go to waste...and to never forget how a pregnant fish feels again.
After Dad died, my mother and grandparents did their best to stay in touch for me. The only time in my entire life that Granddad sent a card separate from my grandma, one that he actually signed himself, was for my birthday that year. Never before or since. I went to visit them once or twice before they moved from Fort Collins to Arizona, which kind of ended regular visits. My grandmother and I were close through letters over the years...censored as they were, but granddad and I drifted apart. I came to resent him, for not reaching out to me, for not letting Grandma send me packages without hiding money in them...I had to draw a smiley face by name in my thank you cards so she'd know I got it...the $20 check. I could openly thank her for the silly things she'd pick up at the military shop...lipstick, lotion, gigantic underpants (they assumed I'd be really fat, like so many of their family members, and though I was never a tiny thing, my panty size stayed fairly average, my mom and I would just laugh hysterically!)...sweet stationary, and the most precious Christmas brooches, I still have them all. Even in my darkest Christmases, my beautiful, sparkly Rudolph pin can always make my heart smile.
They came back to the Poudre Valley to celebrate their 50th Wedding Anniversary. Mom and I went, I must have been in my very early twenties or late teens. It was nice, they looked young and happy I thought...it was good to see them...in the beautiful Valley that started it all. I was still pretending to be normal and perfect then. I think maybe they were too.
I would see them together one last time, about ten years later. I was living in Durango, and they came to Pagosa Springs, just a short, beautiful drive away for their vacation one summer. I was really excited to see them...wondering how they were aging, god they'd be in their 80's...wondering just how honest this visit would be...wondering if in all my wisdom, I would finally not need to be anything other than myself around him...would I still 'soldier up' for him? Would I lose it?
On the way there, my gorgeous San Juan mountains chipped away at my selfish ways. I went into a state of deep knowing...knowing what a suicide does to a child...and finally knowing what a suicide does to parents. For so long, their Christian hearts had the Guru to blame for taking their son away...for only so long. As we age, we start to see with clarity the grave mistakes we've made...they've had a lot of years to look back, I wonder what they've seen. I think I should be gentle with them still...just be a good girl Genny, they suffer too...give them something to be proud of...a kind, thoughtful soul is enough...you don't need to hide your depression either...just show up.
It really was a lovely visit for the most part. They were just thrilled that I was thin...it was a good summer for me, for once. It was like the best thing that ever happened to them, and I remember thinking, 'I could be three hundred pounds with a needle in my arm and it would be understandable!'..."Thank you"! I'd catch glimpses of how they were in the moment...a cute, old couple, completely used to each other, together their entire lives practically...sweet. But really, there was never anything old about my granddad. His spirit was just as strong and commanding as it ever was. He was so proud of his toughness...his ability to protect his family under any circumstance...and before I knew it, the fucking thing was in my hand. "Never travel anywhere without one of these"!
'Oh my God! Oh my God! What the fuck Granddad?! Why on earth would you give me this? On what planet would it make sense that I'd want to hold your Gun?! And not just any gun...a 3 fucking 57 mother fucking Magnum!! The granddaddy of them all...how could you not know that I fucking hate guns...how?'...is what I shoulda said..."Wow, thanks for letting me hold your gun, Granddad". I guess I 'soldiered up'...still couldn't be honest with him...still.
I really sat up straight when "I made some mistakes with your Dad" came out of his mouth. In that moment, I was truly grateful for whatever empathic gifts I had. Otherwise, I'd have never known the full weight of pain that carried those words...he was so matter of fact, the brave, tough Pearl Harbor War Hero he always was...but for once, I knew that he was nothing more than melting butter inside. I melted too...inside. "Really Granddad...how so"? He said that he was finally able to see, that he wasn't the best parent...that he wasn't raising children...he was raising soldiers. I couldn't believe how profound that was...and how too late.
Granddad was buried with full military honors at the Fort Logan Military cemetery here in Colorado a few years later...on August 30th...my Dad's birthday. They all thought that was so great...it broke my heart. He had 89 trips around the Sun, 52 more than my dad. As the service ended and they played "Taps" for him, I was struck by how much guilt and blame can be a lot like fly fishing in the Poudre River...catch and release Grandad...catch and release...and rest in peace.
...cause I'm afraid your next one is gonna be a bit of a bitch...Karma's reputation is well deserved, trust me, I know.