The Good Parts Version


The Good Parts Version

I love the story of The Princess Bride by William Goldman and I love the idea of this being the "good parts version" of his favorite story from childhood. According to Mr. Goldman, his father would tell him the story, leaving out the boring parts. He was surprised when he finally read it and found pages and pages describing clothes. So he wrote the good parts version. Actually, he wrote the whole thing, but this intro makes the story even more fun.

A friend of mine grew up with horrible abuse, then married an abusive husband. A couple of years ago, she began reviewing all those years--with a twist. She was going to remember all the good parts. She was rewriting her story into the good parts version.

Last week, I found myself in the deep hole of caregiver burnout, self pity, and anger. I was shocked at how angry I was. I didn't like it. In some ways, I've come to terms with the fact that I'll always struggle with my relationship with my mom, but I don't want to be like her. She has been angry all her life. Even her humor often tends to be mean spirited. Remembering this is enough to shake me out of my self pity and back to living well.

I'll go back to writing the good parts version. If my friend can do it, so can I. As long as I know I have a place here to vent when I need to, where no one will pat my hand and say, "now, now", I can do this.

The best thing is I've already started. In fact, I start the story way, way back, before me... way before me. I'm still going through those family photos and genealogy records. And I've found some really fun stuff:

Names of twins:  Hiram and Homer, AKA Hi and Ho, Lillie Bell and Tillie Bell, Lois and Louis, Lucretia and Aurella, Spythnev and Wenceslas.

IMG1761 My dad, my sister, and me. I'm the little one.

We have some Welsh ancestors. So I can ffind myselff spellling words ffynnu and be ffine widd ddis.

If I'm really zoning out and keep clicking on those little arrows on our family tree, I always find we are direct descendants of royalty. Sure, there's a few data problems. Maybe a wife was born after her husband died, but really, it's got to be accurate. I followed those arrows back so far one night, I came to Odin of Asgaard.  And Beowulf.

More importantly, I'm trying to consciously remember the good times. At least Mom ignored us, and we had a blast wandering through the hills and catching horny toads. I hardly remember any adults from the neighborhood, just lots of kids and the occasional jack rabbit. We had cousins on a farm and an uncle who took us to get snow cones and cotton candy.

IMG1760 Me and my Uncle Bob
Focusing on these times, maybe I can enjoy going through some of the old photos with Mom and Dad... well, I always enjoy Dad. He's the one who taught me how to make things funny. I have to let go of a lot to enjoy Mom. Sometimes it's easier to hold on my own anger rather than risk the hurt that comes when she gets mean.

Oh well, that's a work in progress. For now, I'll go through my photos and rewrite the good parts version, starting way back in our history.

Guess what? I'm a direct descendant of Attila the Hun!

And I've also got some really cool guys in my family.

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Thanks for all the comments_mysql! I've been without a reliable computer for a little bit until my daughter finishes her research paper, so it was a nice surprise to come on here again and see the comments_mysql.\r\nI'll certainly still share the ups and downs. Knowing you all are going through similar stuff is very helpful. \r\nOh.. and I really zoned out last night and kept following the family tree backwards and got to Adam and Eve. It was hilarious! There's even a place to add their parents and, boy, is it tempting.


Great idea and a welcome reminder not to throw the proverbial baby out with the bath water. Your sense of humor, which I love, comes through loud and clear in your writing. Like Jan, I'm looking forward to Chapter 2, Beowulf or no Beowulf! :)


I love how you remind us to embrace what's good and to make sure we sort through the rumble to look for what's good.\r\n\r\nI do love that you share the bad parts with us here, Goldie. I feel better if we can share that bad with you so that hopefully how much the bad just stings will lessen. \r\n\r\nYou are the good part, Goldie. :)


\"It's inconceivable\" that we would not want to share your journey and read what you need to write. Looking forward to the next installment.


Good deal, Goldie. I like your humor and your attitude. I think dealing with negative pasts is always a work in progress... sometime the scar tissue pulls to tight and creates a break that needs to reheal.