Melodie — I always appreciate your responses to my stories because you push me to see things differently, even if it smarts. Yes, I did hug her, although she had just been standing with her arm around me to be photographed with me and her sister (whom she is also estranged from) and she smiled and was congenial. While I know she did this for her Nana, I felt that it opened the door to me embracing her.
Thank you for your perspective. I am certainly not guilty of being perfect! But I am continuing to work toward a better understanding of both myself and my daughter, in hopes that one day there may be a reconciliation.
No one in our family has shamed her or guilted her about being estranged from me. While it may seem impossible to believe, we are not the horrid, toxic family you imagine. I would describe us as garden variety dysfunctional. We are all just trying to figure it out and extending as much grace as we possibly can to one another as we each take our own path to wholeness.
I hope you will continue to read and comment on my stories. I like being pushed to grow, even when it means taking a painful look at the reality of who I am. I wish you nothing but happiness and joy.