Anyway, now, (my mother-in-law said), she doesn't feel that way, because she has learned that seeing all those good things about a person's life, and not being as caught up in their faults, is just as true of a way of seeing things. Maybe more true, because so often our perceptions of others' shortcomings are colored by our own shortcomings. And as she gets older, she is learning to see the faults of others more generously---and to see more clearly the good they really were trying to achieve, and DID achieve. To see others (this is my interpretation here) more like God sees us.
And I agree with her. Because I have loved, this past week, to see my Dad's life as an entity apart, not something I'm tangled up in and entwined with, but something separate and complete in itself, and I think I can see it more clearly that way. Reading through his old journals, hearing my brothers' memories, seeing old pictures and scrapbooks, and even just reflecting on all my own memories of him---all of those things have helped me see Dad as a person and not just as my dad. And it's cool. Because we weren't always very close, and it drove me crazy what a worrier he was, and I just didn't understand him half the time---but I find so much to love and admire and respect and miss about him, and that is all TRUE. Just as true as the annoyances. And I'm so grateful for the recent chance I've had to think about it! And especially, for the chance to continue my relationship with him someday, from this better-perspectived, truer footing.
And maybe someday, as I get older and wiser, I'll learn to see people this way all the time. Wouldn't that be good?