On Saturday night I will be lighting a candle in memory of my father. It will have been 18 years since he passed away at the Good Samaritan Hospital here in Monsey.
This time of year always finds me in a reflective mood. I have written before (Lessons of the Fathers, Introspection, Mixed Emotions) of my relationship or lack thereof with my Dad, and even though I know it’s useless, I always wonder what if… If he were still alive, wouldn’t he be totally thrilled that I and the boys had moved to Monsey?! If he were still alive, what would I have called my second son (who I named after him)? If he were still alive, would we have any kind of relationship? Would 18 years of me as an adult have been enough to forgive him and forget the long years of little to no contact? Would my maturity have allowed me to move on and build a new relationship with him? But he’s gone. It doesn’t hurt as much now as it did then, but this little girl desperately wanted a relationship with her Daddy – and never had it. I was blessed with the family I had – my mum and my brothers. But there was always something (someone?) missing.
A friend of mine recently lost his biological / birth father. This friend was adopted soon after his birth and didn’t know his bio family growing up. He didn’t have any real connection to this man, yet the person who was instrumental in his conception is dead. I can kind of imagine the conflicting emotions – not to depth that my friend feels them, obviously – as I had a father who was not part of my life in any major way. My friend, however, was blessed with an adoptive family who loved him and accepted him and gave him a place to belong. He has a dad and a mom and plenty of siblings. When I heard his news, I felt his pain and his confusion. There is no guide book for how one is supposed to feel in such a situation. ES – our thoughts are with you at this time.
I have decided that I will try to focus on the positive. What I learned from my relationship with my Dad has enabled me to make sure, that even though I and my ex are divorced, that he is a major player in the children’s lives. Of course, that only would work if he wanted to be so invested, but BH he totally is invested and wants to be as big a part of their life as possible. The boys are so close with their Abba, and I try to do all in my power to keep that connection strong, to keep that bond. I don’t want them ever to turn around and say that I kept them from having a relationship with him.
My kids love their father, and also are blessed to have a great relationship with their stepdad, the KoD, who is a great Dad in his own right. Such positive male role models for my boys to emulate. They are so blessed.
So, I will honour my father’s memory on Saturday night and Sunday, and thank him for the gift of life, and I will take a few moments to appreciate all that I have in this world.