Sometimes It Skips a Generation

I’ve heard that said about red hair.

“It skips a generation.”

My grandmother was red-headed, or so they said. I only knew her as a white-headed woman. My mother, the oldest child of my grandmother, was not red-headed. Nor was my father. I was the only one in five children.

They called it strawberry-blonde, in my case, although there was little blonde, and mostly strawberry. It was a dulled down strawberry, though, more like a brown-red.


My father-in-law was a good guy. He was an all-around family man. That was his model, but he hardly had a good role model. His own father’s idea of parenting was for the children to be out of the house once they turned 18. His father was not a good guy.

When Mr. X left in 2002, he didn’t tell his parents. He barely told his own children. When he finally told his parents that he had moved out, I expected to never have a conversation with them again. People take sides. It’s only natural. I talked to them one last time, and told them that we’d probably never talk again, since he was their blood and I was not. And that made me really sad, for my mother was dead and my father had dementia, so it was like I didn’t have parents any more.

But his parents called me anyway. They were great thinkers and planners, and mulled over things until everything was worked out in their minds to their satisfaction.

They said, “We’ve decided that we are going to treat this like two of our children have had a disagreement, and that we are not going to take sides.”

That worked out pretty well, until Mr. X continued to reveal his dark, insane side over the years.

They wrote him out of the will.

My mother-in-law died in 2006, and my father-in-law died about six weeks ago.


Me? I was never in the will, but Mr. X?

Sometimes it skips a generation.

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2 Responses to “Sometimes It Skips a Generation”

  1. sharon Says:

    A long life, well lived, sorry for the loss and glad for Jen and Mike’s wise grandparent. Sometimes things just work out the way they are meant to.

    Liked by 1 person

    • ruthrawls Says:

      So much sadness lately. He died in the hospital. His 2nd wife has kept him away from us, and we didn’t k is he was having heart surgery. His best words to me at the beginning of the separation was this: “Well, Ruth, someday you just might tell him, ‘buddy, you did me a favor’. ”
      Strange words coming from a father, but he knew. He knew.


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