Our mother never spoke harshly about our fathers.
She had reason to do so. She had plenty of ammunition, and would not have had to lie to us if she wanted to put our fathers down, and take away our admiration and love for them.
Our fathers did not live up to the patience and tolerance our mother showed them. They did not deserve the kind words she spoke to us about them, and they did not deserve the veil she pulled over their failures and indiscretions.
But, she did that for us.
Ultimately, we grew up, and we decided for ourselves what kind of people our fathers were. We came to our own conclusions, made up our own minds about whether or not we thought they were "good" people. Their own actions, and not the musings of our mother, helped us to decide how we felt about our fathers.
My grandfather, who I adored above all others, would sometimes criticize my mother in front of me. Regardless of my agreement with him, and even tho I knew he was entirely justified in his feelings, I defended her fiercely. I became angry with him. I knew he was right, and yet I felt hostility and resentment at his decision to voice his opinion about her, to me.
I believe that whatever is at the root of this angry reaction, is the very reason parents must not disparage one another, regardless of the situation.
Regardless of my current opinion either way about my fathers, I am grateful to our mother for giving us the choice, and for not working to sway our opinion one way or the other.
If I can sing praises of my mother for such a thing, it must be important.