My father lies in hospice. For 6 months he has been in the limbo between death and a full life enriched with taking, giving, turning away from the family he had and turning to a new family he thought he could create. Well she was a serial home wrecker for a reason, so he is now essentially alone.
My father lived in duality, he wanted the chance to begin anew, which he took, gladly. He only wished he had not sunk so much into a family that could not love the narcissist that he was with the abandon he showed only himself.
He felt I was dead weight and passed on to me more than once that I was only the child that replaced the child that my mother and he conceived years ago. I traded places with his son or daughter that he wished upon in another time and place. He told me I should not have been born, twice.
I was a regret, which he reminded me by telling me hundreds of times that I was useless to him. Needless to say it began to sink in.
I forgave him in my adult years but knew he could not be counted on to be the man who would ever be happy for any success his physical representation of a life that he resented could create. I was unworthy of giving praise to in any way.
He had given so much to me to raise his societal value. An education at an elite ski racing academy in the United States. Vicarious living is so safe.
He allowed me tether. My emancipation came when boarding school began and was not revoked until the years of abuse added in many ways to my mental health diagnosis that finally made sense to me and I was home for longer than anybody wanted.
It wasn’t until I identified my worldly father as a representative of a dead man. He smelled bad, he said nothing to me but words that after my initial emancipation fell like words of a ghost. He died to me in his late 50’s. He will be 80 in March.
Being his scapegoat is over. I pity him, I forgive him. But I cannot forgive the sin. Trite. Call cliché if you must.
My father is in me, and not of this world… and has known me before I was in my mother’s womb. John 15:5, Psalm 139:13
I trust in the identity my God has placed upon me, not a failed man who called me “flounder” after an ugly fish. My father in heaven knows things that I cannot perceive upon my own abilities. He entrusted the heart of my wife. Her vulnerability, her care, her desire, He entrusted her to me. And He entrusted my heart to her.
My dad said I’d be lucky to be an utter failure by 40.
I tried at first to live up to the script he placed upon me, attracted to the worst pains I could imagine until I realized I don’t have to be him.
It’s not my fault, and truly it’s not my dad’s fault either. I knew I had to forgive him. His dad was an Cambridge/Oxford educated man who could not pass a dad or a husband test if he had the cliff notes. It was a generational thing whether Ezekiel agrees or not was dominant dating back over a century.
Excuses are like fingers, everyone has a bunch. I’m not going to repeat the cycle. We have no children and my wife and are content.
The career, the cars, the home, the stuff in our hand that’s better and newer… we recognize the utter uselessness in these items. Evaluate the way they decay and you will be free to love your moments, and the people who inhabit those times when we have to learn appreciate the good and the bad and recognize no relationship is useless, not even the one between dad and I, who today, on his death bed, with possibly one last chance to tell me he loved me, after I told him my wife and I are buying a house right now, told me this: “you know how I feel about you.” Got to love that kind of resolve.
God doesn’t make mistakes, no matter how much the people who deal in control and shame try and broker deals with the devil to exact otherwise. Men and women who tell you that you are unworthy of parenting, leadership and deal in fear, to gain control of their own life, which is slipping through their fingers and have more than control to lose.
How did the word Mom not make the piece until now?