Saturday, February 19, 2011

Hopes and Dreams Misunderstood

Hope is birthed in a mother’s heart at the same time a child is conceived in her womb. Hope for a future filled with happiness, love, and success. Many times it is hope for a better life for her child than what she experienced growing up. Her hope is rooted in good intentions. However, it is not always revealed in ways that support it.

Dreams, on the other hand, can’t be tied to a time schedule. They sprout in our hearts at different times in our lives. Little girls seem to naturally dream about one day being a bride but other dreams are specific to the individual, her personality, gifts and talents. Some dreams are so fragile that we fear speaking of them, afraid someone’s negative opinion will somehow steal our dream and with it, our future happiness.

In her Marta’s Legacy series, Francine Rivers skillfully weaves the story of five generations of women and how misunderstood hopes and dreams create a wall between mothers and daughters. I easily identified with the characters, understanding the mothers’ love but not the way they displayed it. I found myself relating to the daughters’ pain as they felt rejected and unloved. I ‘watched’ as the wall grew thicker and higher when a daughter appeared to love her grandmother more than she did her mother. At times, I felt like a therapist listening to two sides of a broken relationship. I wanted to yell out at them, “Talk to each other! Tell what you are really feeling! Stop ignoring the problem and get it out in the open!”

Francine has a knack of creating fiction that mimics life and she has once again excelled with “Her Mother’s Hope” and “Her Daughter’s Dream.” It made me stop and think about my own relationship with my mother. Though she has been gone now for over eleven years, I still miss her. I loved her dearly and still do.

But I know our relationship had its own walls created by misunderstanding and communication differences. I now wonder what her unspoken hopes for me were and how that affected the way she parented. I wonder how my responses impacted her. Did she feel rejected or devalued? Or did she know how much I loved and respected her? Although we did not always agree or have the same outlook on life, I always knew her love was unconditional and sacrificial. She lived it out loud every day in her actions.

I wish I could tell her.

But I can’t.

However, I can live the remainder of my life making sure I tell those I love how I really feel about them. I believe I need to talk to my adult sons about their childhood, making sure I don’t leave even a remnant of a wall between us. Changing misunderstanding to understanding. Paving the way for future generations of parents and children to be more open in their relationships. Granted, there will always be somewhat of a communication gap between generations. It is part of our genetic makeup. But too many hopes and dreams are never realized because of simply misunderstanding one another.

Will you join me in tearing down some walls?


P.S. By the way, I highly recommend you read these books!

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