A Father’s Love

We call our father’s by many names. Appa (Tamil), Papa, Thatthi/Thathha (Sinhala), Dad, Daddy, Father (if we are being formal), Pere (French), Vader (Afrikaans – anyone thinking STAR Wars), Baba (most other African countries) – these are just a few and the ones I commonly know and or have used.

No matter what word we use to call/refer to our fathers, they have the same significance to all of us. They represent love, security, strength and safety. For those of us who have absent fathers we search all our lives for those things in other places.

I was a part of both, as in for a period my father was there and for a period he wasn’t. For some period though he was physically there he was not present in any other way.

I grew up like any other girl idolising her father, but in my case the fact that me and my father were alike meant I also felt we had a special connection that no one else was privy to. I loved that. I loved that it was something only I had with my dad and it needn’t be shared with my sisters (I have spoken before on sharing and life with three younger sisters), or even my mum for that matter. He would know how to make me smile. He’d make me laugh and distract me when I needed it and he loved very much the way I do, with his entire heart that sometimes, it did him no good. I loved my dad was a true enough statement.

Parents, we sometimes forget are human too. My dad was human, with insecurities, with faults, with weaknesses and when these manifested themselves in harmful ways to the entire family, I hated him as much as I loved him.

I was always at odds with myself, torn between loving my dad and hating him for his weaknesses. Blaming myself as a kid thinking there was something wrong or lacking with me for him not to change his ways. For him not to give up his weaknesses. I blamed everyone around him and blamed him too. I was hardest though on myself.

When my dad died he was so far gone. Alcoholism had taken it’s toll on his body and his mind. I was left with guilt and regret cause I never fully built the bridge to reconcile and I never really told him that yes I was angry with him but yes I loved him too. I think though that he knew. Little things he did. The way he looked at me and the way he cared. See no matter what I never doubted my dad loved me. I just always questioned why that love was not enough to change.

I am getting married next year. I always dreamed my dad would walk me down the aisle, give me away and I don’t have that. He’s not there. He’s not going to see me in my wedding gown and get emotional. He’s not going to cry giving me away. He’s not going to dance with me and twirl me around. He’s not there to make me okay when I am stressed with all the planning. He’s not there as my security and surety. I hope though that where ever he is, he’s happy and happy with how I have turned out and what I have chosen for life.

Even though my dad is not going to be there, another father figure who has been there for the last 11 years will be present. My step-dad who is also quite human (no inhuman parents out there), is there to walk me down the aisle and dance with me for the first time and cry at every moment and pretend he isn’t crying. He’ll make me laugh, he’ll act silly and smoke too much cause he’s sad to give me away, but he’ll be there.

I have been blessed to have two fathers. Who have both taught me so much. Not only on what not to do, but also on what to do. It took amazing parents, who have strived through heartache, difficulty, weaknesses, mistakes to raise me. And they will all be present that day as I wanted whether physically or not.

Raising a child is difficult, raising a child well is even more difficult. Raising a child when you are the farthest thing from perfect is an impossibility almost, but they did. Neither I nor my sisters can claim to say we have made too many bad choices in life. In instances where we have tried to, they have stepped in. In the instances we did, they have been there to pick us up.

Parenting is a lifetime job and sometimes I think an after life job too. You never rest once you become a parent and it is hard from what I have seen. You never stop loving though and you always try your best no matter how screwed up you may be or how much your children screw up.

A parent’s love for their child is the best example of humanity at work. Even though parents are human with all sorts of weaknesses and their children have weaknesses too, they still love their children as though they are all perfect.

A Father’s Love is unconditional and God’s love for us is that of a Father.

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Dear Yesterday

Hope you are well. Why do I say that? I know you are not well. You are broken, you are upset, you are bitter and you will not let me be. You haunt me with your presence. I try to be happy with today but you always come around to remind, accuse, question. I just want to live my life, I want to face each day with a smile without your ghost to bring around the clouds that hide the sunshine.

You and I had some good times, but you need to let me move on. You need to set me free. You need to stop using the people I love to get back into my life. You need to realise that I don’t want you to define who I am. I made some mistakes with you but I am allowed mistakes. I am not perfect, I’ll be the first to admit, but that is no reason to guilt me into thinking that I will never find happiness.

I have loved and lost, I have loved and made mistakes, I have made impulsive decisions, I have let others define me in so many ways, I have let others down, but I don’t want the burden of you anymore! I do not want to carry around the guilt, the questions, and the accusations against myself. I want to be me without you. I want a new start without you.

This is good-bye Yesterday. I cannot be the best me with you around. It’s not me, it’s you. You cannot let things be me. You cannot accept yourself. If you cannot learn to live with yourself, how can you expect me to? I am sorry, but I have no choice. I have no choice but to say goodbye forever.

Yesterday, my dear yesterday…You were never meant to stay in anyone’s life as more than a lesson. You are not supposed to haunt them and make them feel insecure. You are supposed to bring smiles of what was and help people move on with the smiles still on their faces. When did you forget your purpose? Or did we, did I change you? Am I to blame? If so that is another reason to say goodbye.

I sincerely hope you find the peace you need.

Goodbye

Kindly

Good Advice…Where Does It All Go?

 

So how many of us out there have been in some situation, with one foot poised over a sheer drop to stupidity, or in some situation, serious sort, with no idea what to do? How many of us in that instant, or what seems to be a lifetime, have gotten advice from those close to us, and sometimes from total strangers due to a certain tendency to talk to oneself.

Let’s be honest, we get bucket loads of advice! Human beings love dishing out advice and we ourselves have most probably done the same in the past, are doing it in the present and will be doing it in the near future!  If we apply the principle of karma we are really just getting what we deserve!

In the midst of all this advice, which happens to be a lot, there are some gems of ‘good advice’. We’ll listen to said, ‘good advice’ and we’ll nod our heads; we’ll know in our heads and hearts that the person is right; that the advice been given is what should be adhered to and we’ll nod our heads, with serious faces and say, “you’re right”. Then we’ll thank the person, get up, leave and then comes the pivotal point – we forget the advice! It just vanishes from our minds and we fall into stupidity (my case now). The annoying part of this is that after the fall, when you’ve crashed and burned, you remember the good advice!

So where does the ‘good advice’ go between the time you hear it to the time you’ve crashed and burnt? Vacation? Does it get transferred to another dimension via a mental link that exists between us and the other side? Or do we have aliens programming our memory to only remember the ‘good advice’ after we have fallen? (Sorry for all the sci-fi references, am been influenced by a forum I’m reading)

The truth is, I have had a lot of brilliant advice in my life, most of which I have failed to follow and I have ended up in hot water due to that shortcoming! Having said that, I am a great believer in the saying, ‘experience is the best teacher’. I have learnt some invaluable lessons through my experiences. When it really comes down to it, you cannot live life through someone else’s experiences. It’s your life and you need to find your own way and that means making some mistakes, it means falling off the cliff; it means finding out for yourself how to navigate this complex thing called life. It also means knowing when to listen! Sometimes as much as experience may have taught you an invaluable lesson, listening to the advice offered may have saved you a whole lot of heartache and pain. Cost-benefit analysis (accountant in me poking her head out), was the heartache and pain, which may touch others, worth the lesson, the experience gained?

The choice at the end of the day is in your hands! You have to decide to either learn the hard way or take the advice and learn the easy way. I, for one, am a curious person and want to know the outcomes for myself, rather than take it from someone else. So I choose the hard way. What do you choose??