Day 586 Your an asshole

3 09 2014

I sometimes wonder if the holiday work week is worth it. People seemed more rushed, in a worse mood, and I believe less productive.  It’s almost the weekend so I’ll shut up but think about it.

If you have never lost a parent no matter whatever the relationship  its a very delicate and different feeling to ever explain. This week my heart and mind has been with my dad. He’s  been gone 9.5 years and I’m not sure what trigger my thoughts but they have been deep. You can try to hide them but sometimes even when you thought they were dealt with they come back and remind you. I know my dad loved me and was proud of me. He had his own demons that he never dealt with. I found out about them 6 months before he died and it took me 7 years later to understand them. My dad became disabled when I was in the 8th grade and  believe that’s w hen he stopped communicating any thing about himself to me. Sure I saw it and heard  but I never understood it. He sprayed paint chemicals at the Nuclear power plant for over 18 years without protective equipment. When he became disabled  the Dr’s told us what was going to happen to him which include: loss of muscle use, losing sight, loss of faculties, couldn’t walk etc.. All of those things did happen and I got to see my father literally rot away. He loss all sense of being a human by the end and there was no semblance of a man.  During those times I was so pissed at him because he left me to be the man. Your right I was the man or so I thought.  I went on being the man and slowly chipping people out of my life, being angry,  riding an emotional roller coaster  because all I wanted to know who was this man who sat on the side of the bed spitting of pieces of his lungs and why won’t he let me know who he is. I had heard storied about a man I had never met, Great dresser, amazing athlete, amazing card player, musician, artist and all I got was this broken down man.

Fast forward: 6 months before he died he knew it like we all did and something happens to a dying person where they spill their guts. My dad apologized to us all. He told my mom the things she deserved to hear their whole marriage. He told my sister who he wanted to be and how he failed her. Then there was me. I would sit in his hospital room for a few hours at a time and at first it was generic talk but I remember the first real thing he said to me. Son I was a bad example for a father. He probably talked for 10 minutes as I drifted into all of the examples I was about to give why he was right, but I didn’t. I just listened! The next time I saw I was so pissed that he had waited all of the years he had to tell me that when I saw him again the only thing I could muster to say was you’re an asshole. I explained why and I poured out  a bit of me on him. That moment that we shared allowed us to empty our years of pride, anger, sadness, happy thoughts, my fears, what he expected of me as a man and protector for the family. I remember them all but never processed them until my 3rd ever counseling appt. 7 years later. I had held on to it all good, bad, and terrible.  AT the same time i was going through martial hell I decided to beat an oak tree in my front yard and pretend it was my dad.  Lots of anger and he wasn’t here to get ” what he deserved”. December 7 2011 was a day that I will always remember because I believed in God again. I was able to go to my dads grave and forgive him. I also asked him to forgive me. I haven’t been the same since.

When I think of my dad this week. It isn’t the bad. Its I got to spend the last 6 months knowing a man I always wanted to. Sure it wasn’t perfect but I’m so appreciative of that time. i wish I was in a different place at that time to accept it while he was here to tell him thank you and give him a hug one more time. The last month he was on morphine and when we saw him he wasn’t there mentally. The Friday before he died we had family come into town and we had brought him home so he could die at home and I did what I should have and went down there knowing I wouldn’t see ” my dad” but  it was the best thing that ever happened between us. It was like he found the strength to talk to me with out the effects of medicine and the last thing he ever told me was  that he made so many mistakes but when he closes his eyes for the last time that he wished that he was half the man I was, and  the greatest gift God gave him was the chance to be my father. So I take that and hold onto those words.

Just my thoughts for the week. Thanks for reading as always.

Matthew Winters (Honest Thoughts from a Pastor)

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