Thought about my dad today and what God takes away. Certainly that implies that something, or someone, was given. I see that now.
As I was processing, I asked myself why I would still be writing about him. It has been almost 4 years now. For all I know, you might even be thinking why. Your first inclination might be to look at me as a grieving son or someone that has unresolved issues. All may be true, but I also thought of you. At the risk of sounding redundant, much of what I write turns toward you. As it should be...by way of experience.
Are you in a place, in the living years, where you can't resolve the unresolved? Still fighting, still fighting back what you'd prefer to forget?
I guess I feel that my process of dealing with my dad's living and dying was for a purpose deeper than the loss of a human life. I know that I'm not alone. On more than one occasion I've had people write me to say they've been watching my journey. We live in a crowded world, so if Ed says he was watching, then I know it was for a good reason. I guess this post is for those that have never raised their hands.
My gut tells me some of you may be fighting an un-winnable war.
In the vast majority of my life with my dad I was entangled and by the time I became an adult I was too arrogant and angry to resolve it. I was warned, but I pressed on. My mistake. I eventually did make it right, but man it seems like it would have been sweeter to get there earlier. Could be revisionist history or a longing to have a chance for a "do-over." I'm ok, though, I'm still moving forward. He is pleased, I know.
Ok, what's the un-winnable war:
- Anger toward someone (wife, ex-wife, friend, parent, etc.) that eats you from the inside out. Many times my wife and kids felt this with me. I have nothing to show for my investment, nothing.
- Resignation that it won't get any better. Damn it, most everything can get better if we let it!
- Making someone into someone they can never be. I spent years of hating my dad while trying to please him. He wasn't a bad man, just trapped in his own web unable to say and do something a son longed for.
- Pretending that love isn't in your heart. A form of protection I suppose. Ironically, I found out after he passed that I do love him.
- You don't control as much as you think you do. God has every right to take away, and we have the responsibility to make the most of the time we're given. Be careful here. Are you gambling that you have time? Are you thinking you can get to it later?