What if your parents were crazy?
From time to time I think that most of us joke about one or both parents having “gone crazy” because of something or other that they have done, but what if they really did have something going on?
I was reflecting on that as I was thinking back to some of the wonderful clients I have worked with at the shelter over the last couple of years. Quite a number of them are, for one reason or another, alienated from their children or wider families. Some of them are desperate to reconnect. Others have nothing to do with their children. Some don’t even know where their families are.
Sometimes it is because the parents really do have struggles – mental health, addiction, or otherwise – that would cause people to label them as “crazy”.
As someone involved in the caregiving of a dying parent, I can’t imagine what the caregiving of a parent with mental health and/or addictions might involve and, as someone who frequently cares for the parents of others at my place of work, I can understand the difficulties.
I was having lunch with an older and wiser friend a few weeks ago. As we updated each other on our various comings and goings over pizza and wine, we got to talking about the upcoming changes in my life. He asked, as a lot of people do, what my family thought of my plans to study towards becoming a priest. After a somewhat lengthy reply that detailed the love and support I have always felt from my family for whatever choices I have made in life and the love I have for my mum and my dad, he said something that made me stop and think because it was something I hadn’t ever really thought about before.
“You realize, don’t you, how lucky you are to have parents like that, and how rare it is?”
Lucky, blessed, fortunate. Whatever word you want to use, I’ve got a fantastic and not [too] crazy dad!
Happy Father’s Day to you today.
UPDATE: Thank you for comments so far. I have changed some of the language and I hope it sits better and better conveys what I was trying to say. Please, keep the feedback coming. I am sorry for the ill-thought out original language.