When You Are Blinded By The Light

Mandy McElroy
3 min readSep 8, 2021

What I see now that I never noticed before.

Author’s Photo

Look at this joyful young couple! Yes, it is the notorious daughter and her husband. Looking completely miserable, particularly the husband. If only they could be somewhere else, anywhere other than my house. On Thanksgiving even!

I took this picture of my little grandaughter happily playing in my old ballet shoes, she was having such fun. I was so distracted by how much she was enjoying herself, that I honestly never noticed the expressions of misery on the faces of my daughter and son-in-law. Until a couple of weeks ago that is, and it hit me like a ton of bricks.

Other incidents that had occurred when she was particularly mean to me, and I couldn’t understand why continue to randomly bubble to the surface. Everything makes sense now. At the rate I’m going I’m sure memories will be triggered at times for the rest of my life.

I wonder how many other pictures I will come across such as this one. There are surely countless others. I found it by accident. About 3 weeks ago was my former husband’s birthday. We communicate less and less, but the communication we do have is generally much more civil and friendly. I was looking through hundreds of photos on my phone trying to find a really good one of him with our granddaughters.

I wanted to have one printed and framed for him as a birthday gift. There was an abundance of photos I had taken and could choose from. I had several possibilities but was still looking trying to find what I would consider being the best. That’s how I happened to stumble on this one. It was then, for the very first time I finally accepted my daughter and son-in-law did truly despise me. And had for many years.

The realization was somewhat akin to being slapped. Although I had run across this picture several times during the ensuing years I never noticed the expressions on their faces. Pure disgust and misery. Even worse it was Thanksgiving. And I was hosting. A traditional, well-loved family-centered holiday.

When I said I was blinded by the light, it literally was true. This picture is a perfect example. My granddaughters had delivered to me more joy than I had ever known. Of course, I loved my children dearly, but my life circumstances when my…

Mandy McElroy

Divorced for 2 years, after leaving a 40 year marriage. An adult daughter removed herself and her children from my life due to my decision. The pain remains.