coping, forgiving and communicating in dysfunctional familiesWriting in Faith Gateway, Leslie Leyland Fields and Dr. Jill Hubbard write about connection, forgiveness and the dysfunctional family. As much as we might like to have picture perfect parents and wonderful well-adjusted children – this is just not the case. So, what do you do? Can you have forgiveness and connecting in the dysfunctional family?

Do you see yourself or your family in this excerpt?

We sat there in the white sun on the white beach, just he and I. This was my last chance to know who he was, to find a fissure, something to take me down into that frozen stillness. I asked him about the war, about his mother and father, about his childhood — I knew so little. He didn’t remember much, answering in short, vague sentences spoken sideways, his eyes always away, looking to the ocean. I was bothering him. He wanted to sit in the sun, watch the water, and be quiet. I kept asking questions, trying to store some of his words in my head to write down later, but they evaporated almost as soon as he spoke them.

Two hours later, we were headed back, the day at the beach already exhausted. I was quiet and grim. Had we really spent all that money to fly down here for just two hours? He hadn’t asked the names of my children or spoken to them, except to ask the older ones about the weather in Kodiak. Wanting something to claim from this visit, I suggested one more stop before we let him off — ice cream. We stood in line for our cones, then ate them under a tree as we watched the traffic.

If the problems of a dysfunctional family, speak to your experience. Can you set your path towards forgiveness and connecting in the dysfunctional family?

You can read the full article, How Long Will You Wait to Forgive?, on Faith Gateway.