These past few days have been surreal. Since we laid my Father to rest and the family and I helped to eliminate the belongings from his home, I have been running through so many different thoughts, emotions and nothing short of extremely stinging sorrows.
You may already know, but my father and I were distant. We had a huge falling out several years ago and chose to no longer speak to each other. So, this last few weeks has been a rollercoaster of memories, new experiences with my scattered family, seeing and going through the things I haven’t seen since my mother and father had split decades ago, as well as bringing home all of these material things that now serve as an ongoing reminder.
I sit and wonder what my dad was truly like within the times he and I were apart. Our frequent hiatuses throughout the years left the unfinished stories with loose ends, kind of like watching episodes of a television series with several of them being missed before tuning in again. We were so hard headed and hung up on the past. We both had our opinions about how and why the life between my mother, myself and he was broken apart. We just couldn’t live with each other for very long. I see just how much I was like him looking back on the latter years of our relationship. We both had our headstrong ways which became unmovable forces that stood between our, what should have been more important, love for each other.
Then there was the influence of my mother.
I had spent the majority of my entire life living with her. Although she was loving me and caring for me to the best of her ability, along with the help of her parents, she was struggling with her own demons. I’m choosing not to get too carried away with tearing her to shreds with my criticism, but I will say that our codependent relationship was something that I didn’t recognize until recently. I didn’t see just how her one-sided view that I would quickly side with, and the blame that she would place upon everyone but herself, had produced me into a young boy with a deep resentment towards my father. It later aided in shaping me into a judgmental young man, and eventually into a bitter adult. I know the choices were my own, but I had a lot of influence and personal ignorance. The “misery loves company” idiom is something that I began to see clearly as my own views began to change through my desire to let go of the things that were pulling me away from the mind and heart of the Lord.
Unfortunately, I can no longer speak to my mother either. Her personal choices are none like my own, and I only backslide into treacherous waters when trying to make it work with her. We end up saying and doing things that hurt. After a long time of trying to let bygones be bygones, her personal battle with psychological issues always had a way of making the past more important than the new starts we would begin. Always having to hear about the past hurts, which I believe is all that she knows how and whom to be, would cause me to become just like her all over again.
I do not desire for it to be this way any longer within my personal life!
I had to set up a boundary, and unfortunately, it involved cutting ties with her.
I hate it: this ongoing battle that came to a head with the necessary separations initiated with both my mother and father. The memories that I will probably soon have after my mother either tries to end her own life again or dies from her mostly self-induced, failing health. Maybe that’s too personal for writing here, but it’s the truth. It’s all the truth. It is all part of the surreal period that is currently taking place within my little spot in time.
I’m not sure why these things have happened, and I’m not sure what the future will bring, but within this current time of dreamlike realities, I have been so close to and comforted by the Lord. I find myself freely giving into His guiding voice and being completely restful within the way that things currently are. Not worrying about whether or not I am making the right decisions, or whether I did, but simply knowing that I am being heard, held up, loved and conditioned by almighty God. I’m becoming more aware of His awesomeness. I’m growing in a direction that I really haven’t experienced before. Through the heartaches, all of them, up until this very moment, I am seeing God in all of His glory. I am seeing the love in my dad that was never really noticed when he was alive in the flesh. I’m seeing his personal belongings, writings, pictures, the family I’ve really never known on his side, the dedication he had to reading His Word and his services that brought glory to our heavenly Father, and the love that he really had for all three of his children. I’m seeing his ‘spirit’ side. Through his passing, and through my recent parting with my mother, I’m experiencing more of my own spirit side. His Spirit.
I don’t know why, but I have faith in that which I cannot see, and I will keep holding onto that faith. For I know, and now strongly realize…
…that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. – Romans 8:28 (ESV)