Are You a Giver or a Taker?

A Workaholic’s Apology to his Wife… Sad, when it comes too late.

Video reading:

PDF The Executive Gardener and the Fairy

I remember driving in the car one day with my retired dad to go see his parents in Windsor. As we drove we were chatting about life and work. One thing led to another and he opened up about his role as father and provider. He expressed deep regret for having ‘run obsessively’ with my mom’s permission to do whatever it took to be the best at work, so he could provide for the family. He finished by saying that he felt guilty as he realized too late how his workaholic habits caused damage to my parents relationship and brought family stress. He should have shown restraint. Yes, he was proud of his accomplishments but the efforts devoted to achieve the success was excessive and he could have stopped or reduced the time spent.

So when writing Frank’s soliloquy as he tries to explain his excessive work habits to Lily, the words were pretty close to what my father said to me in the car that day.

This is why I explained to her that this story was Dad’s apology to her. I think she was upset Lilly died from cancer, but at that time I knew I wasn’t able to do justice to any dialogue between a husband and wife. I was also very fearful that I might write something that she might find offensive, so I chose to let the story focus on Frank. (The rewrite, The Corporate Family attempts to deal with the wife’s perspective.) She responded, “Hmm, you can write. I could really identify with Lilly.”

Bravo to my mom for standing by her man and being a devoted mom to my brother and me when for many years she was lonely and functioned as a single parent. She was a stay at home mom who was a styling graceful chatelaine. She belonged to the church choir, did volunteer, went to school for interior design for a year (we had one of the coolest decorated interiors in the neighbourhood on a shoe string), worked for a short period part-time at a pharmaceutical company, all of which gave her healthy temporary distractions. And she was a lady committed to her mission at all costs: her priority was the wellbeing of her family and home. She ultimately forgave and accepted (she didn’t forget though lol). Thank you mom for your service and sacrifice to ensuring the tribe stayed on track. Happy Mother’s Day on the other side. You are greatly missed!

Dazzle’s Challenge: Write a poem or something to your mom for Mother’s Day. Celebrate all that she did for you and if there were challenges, hardships or clashes maybe try to see beyond them and just focus on all those beautify gifts she gave you no matter how small. Remember our parents did the best they could with what they had available in terms of resources and experience.