|Matt, Danny and Andrew on Danny's Communion day|
Have you ever had something occur in the past – that you’d prefer to bury there – come back to haunt you years later?
My ex-husband is my middle nephew’s Godfather. Danny is in second grade, and several months back, was readying to make his First Communion. As part of the preparation, he had to learn about his baptism, so one night my sister pulled out memorabilia including commemorative certificate and candle with names of witnesses from this very special day.
“(Insert ex’s name here). Who’s that?” he asked my sister.
“Well … he was a … friend…,” my sister awkwardly sputtered.
“Oh nooooooo you didn’t, Daniel. Don’t ever utter that name in this house again,” my semi-type-A 12-year-old nephew Matt said.
“Where is he now? What happened to him?” Dan asked.
That’s when my sister opted for the simple truth. She explained the circumstances as best she could, and in true 8- and 7-year-old fashion Danny and his brother Andrew cavorted around repeating his name in singsong.
“Why did Aunt Zan get divorced?” Danny later inquired.
“Because he wasn’t her soul mate and Uncle Matt is,” Matt said.
His reply touched my heart and I concluded it was a poignant way to end the discussion.
My sister and brother-in-law headed out for a much-deserved dinner away from the kids. I started looking through family pics only to have Danny, Andrew, Cat and my hubby join in. That’s when it started all over again.
Andrew discovered a photo from his parents wedding nearly 15 years ago.
“Hey, it’s Aunt Zan and she looks really young. Who’s this guy?” he asked.
Danny leaned over and took a look.
“Oh no, it’s … (insert ex’s last name)!”
The chant briefly commenced.
My poor husband, with them at the time, was forced to endure the torture.
“But he’s my Godfather and I’m going to meet him one day,” Danny definitively stated.
“But what did he do to Aunt Zan?” Andrew asked.
“He was mean and hurt her,” my husband said.
“Did he make her cry?” Andrew asked.
Both boys looked at each other, then the picture once more, and said in unison, “BOOOOOOOOOOOO! Get out of here,” and with that threw it into the hallway.
I can’t help but laugh at their curiosity. Six years ago, I would have been crushed.
How different my life is now.
There’s no greater antidote to pensive memories than family love and loyalty – especially when it’s as innocent – and certain - as that.