I went to a memorial service today. The man that I knew was a sweet, child-loving, grandfatherly type. His son spoke at the service and presented a different man...a man who was difficult...a man who didn't provide his kids with a home environment where they could thrive.
I find myself in analysis mode. How does the son's reflections today change my view of the man I knew and his lovely wife? Maybe it doesn't. I didn't have the illusion he was perfect before, but I was still surprised to hear his son speak so poorly of him. I think my impression of the deceased is unchanged, my adoration for his wife is increased, and my view of the son has taken a nose-dive.
My analysis is quickly becoming self-focused. What would my kids say about me? Would they remember the book reading and the snuggling or the times that I lost it and said things I regretted? Would they recount the mom who taught them to cook and to manage their money or the mom that freaked out at them when they made her late?
Hopefully by the time they are speaking at my memorial service, they will be complaining about my old-age habits...like refusing to bathe and hitting people with my cane. In a weird WEIRD way, it is almost comforting to picture them as my adult children. They turned out just fine! And they love me! and I sure did love them.