For a long time Father’s Day didn’t have much meaning for me. It was more about my daughters spending the day with their dad’s and me having a me day. I didn’t have my dad as an active part of my life.
This year, it takes a different meaning for me. It is different because, earlier this year my father passed away. He was ill, not terminal and this was unexpected.
I grew up in a loving home with my mom, step dad and myself. If I didn’t mention this already, I am an only child, from my mom. My step dad has 8 children who visited but did not live with us.
I met my biological father when I was about 14. I was open to the relationship but unfortunately my father was not ready for it. So just as quickly as he came in my life he fell right back out of it.
I had a great role model. My stepfather was amazing to me! He loved my mother and he wasn’t afraid to show it! He loved me, as if I was his biological child. Unfortunately, things did not work out, and after many years of marriage, my mom and step dad divorced.
Throughout the years, my biological father and I communicated, sparingly. The communication was inconsistent. I now know that I was mad at him, I thought I’d earned the right to be mad at him. Like really, who did I think I was. I didn’t understand why I was not important to him. I didn’t understand why he didn’t take the time for me.
As an almost 40 year old woman. I can admit to myself, that I wish I had gotten out of my own head and made the move, made the effort, made the time. He needed that from me, and I didn’t give it to him.
On April 20, 2018, I was still at the dining room table at my best friends house. I received a notification of a new message. It was from a very good friend of my mom & dad. Her message read: “Hola mi amor, just heard that your father passed away.”
For a few moments after reading that message it was as if the world stopped. Initially, I thought that it was one of those I’m being punk’d moments. I dismissed that idea because there was no way she would say or do anything so cruel. I was paralyzed I didn’t know what to do, didn’t know what to say.
Once I was able to confirm that it was true, I experienced a large range of emotions. Feelings of sadness, hurt, anger. I thought, how could this be? We were supposed to have more time. We never got to build a relationship or say I love you. He never got to meet his great grand children. He never got to see Gianna dance or see Genesis become such a good mommy.
In the coming days I realized, I was that little girl that yearned for her daddy to make her a priority. I also came to the realization that I was so busy being angry with him that I allowed the enemy to use that and keep me unwilling to reach out and make it right. I never got the opportunity to ask for forgiveness or forgive him. I don’t tend to allow things to fester. I’m the person that would rather talk about it, express the feelings, fix it and move on. I don’t particularly like confrontation but I would rather deal with it now and move on. Which now leads me to the question of why? Why couldn’t I extend the same love and consideration that I would to a friend or family member to my father?
I leave you with this.
According to Merriam-Webster, Forgiveness is the act of forgiving. A guest on the Oprah Winfrey show’s perceptions that “forgiveness is giving up hope that the past could be different.” Often times we think that forgiving our offender is essence acceptance of the offense, or that for some strange reason we are hurting the offender. When in fact, the only one hurting is yourself. I once heard that not forgiving is the same as allowing that person or action to rent space in your brain. That negative space rental is not providing any positivity, on the contrary its breeding negative energy. This in turn limits progress and the ability to move on.
Unfortunately, this is a realization that came a little late for my relationship with my father. I can only pray that I don’t commit the same mistake going forward.
Ephesians 4:32 says:
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as Christ God forgave you.
Love unconditionally! Forgive even when you think it’s not deserved! Be happy at all times!