Today is Father’s Day. The Facebook posts are rampant and the cutest pics are told about how a dad has impacted the lives of children all over the world. I reflect on the day and my own experiences.
I could say I ‘lost’ my father two years ago. I lost him to two diseases that took his life, yes that is true. But to say I lost him would be a lie. The truth is that I gained him back after several years of tumultuous circumstances of being a human and having flaws that affected not only our relationship but many that surrounded us. But at the end of the day and the final breaths he took it was just him and I and how I chose to feel about not only him but myself.
You see, my father wasn’t perfect. But here’s a shocker, no one is, including me. His choices in life left waves of bitterness that effected the choices I in turn made and sent ripples of bitterness to others. But isn’t that how life goes? The choice I had at the end of the day was to choose to forgive, to let go and to love. Did I always get it right? The answer is no. But do I still have breath to ask for forgiveness to the ones I create pain? The answer is yes.
So how do I honor my father today on this very special day of atonement for the position? I choose to not reflect on the negative, which is so easy to do in our human strength. Instead, I choose to honor the man that gave me life, gave me a bit of my tenacious humor and at the end of the day gave me a strength that I cannot explain to persevere. With his strength and the power of my Father above, I reflect on the facts; it is not how you enter this world but rather how you leave it. What he left, in part with those others he nurtured in his own flawed way, was a legacy of hope for the future; a training ground of imperfection that can choose to love.
At the end of the day it is my choice daily to love. To be a good mother in my own imperfect way. To accept people where they are at and build relationship with those around me. To laugh, to enjoy a good game of cards, to work hard and to be of service to those around me. That is the positive and this is the reflection I choose to dwell on.
For you, my imperfect father, I thank you for who you were. I thank you for the kindness and training you gave me while you were on the planet. And through your example of atonement in words at the end I thank you for your example. I thank my God for guiding me through forgiveness to care for the man you entrusted me with to care for at the end of his life. And as I persevere forward, may I always remember that in the daily choices that ensue me I can choose to be better before my last breath leaves as well.
I love you dad. Thank you Dad.