This past Mother’s day, I wrote an article about forgiving Mom. Looking back on the article, I thought it only seemed fit to include Dad this Father’s Day. Some of us had fathers who were not always around when we needed them. Every year, I went in search of a Happy Father’s Day card that did not reflect loving thoughts or memories. I did not want my father to feel as though he had been a great father figure. As I look back now, perhaps my behavior was a bit passive aggressive.
As I looked back on my life, I realize that without my father, I would not have become the awesome woman I am today. I now understand that my father was responsible for making me into an incredible human being and he was exactly what I needed. My dad was an undertaker. As a child, I would often think of how lucky I was to have perfect parents while riding in the back seat of a funeral car. However, as I got older, I began comparing my parents with my peers’ parents and came to the conclusion that I could have a better set of parents. However, what I did not realize at the time, is that my parents were perfect for me.
My father was one of four children; three boys and one girl. I later learned that all of the boys were alcoholics. My father would sometimes be gone for days. Occasionally, he would lose his job, resulting in my mother having to work. My father once left on a street corner for hours while he sat in a bar. I always thought it was my fault. In those days, people had difficulty in admitting their faults and would do their best to hide them. Therapy was definitely not “trendy” back then.
Father’s Day Challenge
The major challenge of adulthood is forgiving our parents. We often see our parents in others. Our parent’s traits are often recognized in our mates, our friends, our bosses and our children. Forgiving our parents is often the first step towards self-acceptance and maturity. Forgive your father this Father’s Day.
Everyone has childhood wounds and no parent is perfect. In my case, my parents were teenagers when I was born and we all grew up together. My parents had no intentions of hurting us. They only knew the parenting skills of their parents, and it is not for us to judge. Sometimes my parents were selfish and so were we.
Year after year, I clung to hope that my father would someday love me. I discovered later that my father did love me but could not express it. I would often call my father and tell him I loved him only to hear dead silence on the other end of the phone. Then one day he said “I Love You” back to me. He had grown. Our expectations are what we need to forgive. Once I discovered this wisdom, I allowed my dad back into my heart.
The sooner we allow ourselves to have compassion and understanding for circumstances beyond our control, the sooner we can move forward with our lives. The forgiving place is the beginning and the reward is realizing there was never really anything to forgive.
Thank you Dad and Happy Father’s Day
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