I’d like to say that I hate it when people say that… everything happens for a reason – but I don’t. I know it’s so trite and all platitude-y (totally a word, except, not really) but it’s also true. At least, it turns out to be true. When you are in the middle of the thing that’s happening, you often can’t see the reason and that capital “s” Sucks. And in that moment, a platitude doesn’t help (so definitely try to avoid them) but later, you can appreciate it.
Where am I going with this…
On Saturday I posted my normal Instagram recap that included a photo I took of a photo of my dad’s father who he never met because he (my grandfather) died in October 1935 and my dad was born February 1936. At some point I’d heard the story of the circumstances of his death but had mistakenly attributed his head injury to a lead pipe and I knew I was potentially making the details up because our minds recall things differently that we learned in childhood (e.g., bad dreams, being afraid of spooky neighbors who were not at all spooky in real life, being force-fed vegetables, etc…). Anywho, I knew my father would set me straight.
And I was right, Monday I got the following email from my dad:
My father was a fun-loving, dare-devil, joker, witty type of guy (runs in the family [note from Michelle: we are also humble]) and he liked to play low stake poker at the local pub in Dimondale, Mi. After one such session, which he was a winner, an altercation with a loser ended up in a fist fight outside and my dad went down and head struck curb or the concrete, and he developed a blood clot. Being 1935 and medicine not like today, after a few days in Lansing hospital he was transported to Ann Arbor where he died like I think in November and I was born the next Feb. No lead pipe was involved.
[now here’s the part I loved]
Think how much life would be changed if that had not happened. Would probably not met your mom and no Mike –no Marty— and no Michelle. See all things happen for a reason. I’m very happy with the way all has turned out
P.S. the guy who caused his death was not prosecuted and died in W./W.2
I’ve never really talked to my dad about his father dying or everything that happened after – my grandma remarried and moved my dad and his sister to Lansing where he met my mom (his high school sweetheart) in school. And the rest is history. But history that probably wouldn’t have happened had my grandfather not been killed, or had he died at a later point after my dad was born. I cannot imagine what my grandma went through during all this – have two small children and no husband (though she was certainly not alone as there were many wives and children left behind at this time – it was a period of war and depression). But I love how he sees it… that his family came out of it, that we are the silver lining of the cloud of losing his own dad.
Incidentally, I did a little Google-aided digging and found out that my grandma also had a stillborn son in January 1934. I never knew that and as a child would never have known (or appreciated) how much my grandma went through in her own relative youth but as a mother and a wife, I relate to where she was at that time and cannot imagine the strength it took to get through it. I’m sure that at the time there was no comfort in knowing there must be a reason for it happening, but perhaps later, in retrospect, she could see the good that came of it.
It doesn’t mean that bad things are necessary in life but that bad things are not in themselves the end of the story, sometimes they are just the beginning. Everything happens for a reason because God doesn’t make mistakes.