Sunday, January 28, 2007

My Father and Myself

My Thoughts On Abortion and Life:

I am thinking about abortion and coming closer than I ever have to wanting it outlawed. I will never want it completely outlawed because I think it's too important for women to have control over their own bodies; men have controlled women--'barefoot and pregnant'--for too long.

But women need to be virtuous. They would have more parity in the world if they ever said 'no'. Showing their strength by showing men they understand the tremendous gift they have been given in bringing life into the world--and that they do not take it lightly--would bring them true equality.

Succumbing to their feelings, or their desires, or their bodily sensations makes them--us--seem too weak--too much prey for others. Women have to know it's a divine thing--to bring life into the world--and treat it as such. We have to communicate that to men by not making it easy for them to have us and what we can do.

I cannot tell you the supreme message that was given to me when I could hear my parents in their bedroom... To hear the man and woman who gave birth to me, do the same thing that made me, was a profound lesson in humanity.


There is nothing quite like seeing the man who made you, on a Sunday morning, in the kitchen, in his undershirt, eating cornflakes and ice cream--and having him there every day.... even as inadequate as he was.... he was my father--and he was there.

Women who bring fatherless children into the world do not understand the tremendous disservice they do them. Yes, my Dad was lousy--he eventually gave away my inheritance to my brother because we disagreed on issues (and we did not speak 10 years before he died--his choice)--but he was there in the house, while I was growing up and, for all his faults, that left me with a tremendous sense of what men and women were--and, at this late date, what they could be together--and what they had always been. As God intended.

I didn't need a more devastatingly eloquent picture of human beings, in the sight of God, than that.

48 Comments:

Anonymous Patsy said...

My father wasn't perfect either, Donal, far from it. But, as you say, he was there and he taught me right from wrong, made me into a responsible, strong, educated and strangely ... loving woman. What I would be today had I not had him, I cannot even imagine. He's the single biggest influence of my entire existence and truly, warts and all (his phrase), I dearly love him, may he rest in peace.

11:58 AM  
Blogger VerityINK said...

Patsy, you are such a lovely gal--I hope you know that. I hope HE knew that, too.

12:05 PM  
Blogger Elmer's Brother said...

Donal, coming to grips with your relationship with your father can be difficult. My own father was an alcoholic...a violent alcoholic. He became a Christian before he died. When I was young if someone were to say I was just like my father I would have knocked their teeth out....now I can think of no greater honor.

12:19 PM  
Anonymous Patsy said...

I don't think he did, Donal. He thought my strong, assertive style was not proper for a woman. I called him on that criticism several years before he died. Told him he was the one who couldn't handle me, that he was the one intimidated by me, not all men. Daddy told me when I was 18 years old that I was so strong that I'd steamroll over any man I came in contact with, that I'd never find a man I could look up to. I told him in that discussion that the character traits he deemed "unattractive" were my best attributes and that they had been directly responsible for the success I'd achieved. He had to admit I was right. He said I was too damn smart, that he never wanted me to know just how much, 158 IQ, which he divulged to me during that talk. All that time he was looking at my intelligence and forceful personality as flaws to becoming a successful woman and nurturing spouse. What a screwy outlook. It took me years and an incredible marriage to my late husband to understand and like myself. Patsy

12:27 PM  
Blogger VerityINK said...

You are such a man, Elbro--really. I know what a real man is--and I know you are that.

It hurt me terribly that my Dad refused to talk to me 10 years before he died--I would have taken care of him until the end. But I had a Dad, a father, a man in the house while I was growing up, until I left at 19... And I cannot deny that. Don't you men know how important you are?

12:27 PM  
Blogger VerityINK said...

What a wonderful gal you are, Patsy. You know--knew--what you are worth--and that is priceless! I truly admire you so much... I always did.

12:30 PM  
Anonymous Patsy said...

Back at ya, girlfriend. I wnet through a 5 year period when I refused to speak to my father. Then he had a heart attack and I had to go to him. He spent 3 months in the hospital in Boston, going through 5 surgeries before being able to go home. I stayed with him going to that hospital every day, stayed at the Marriott down the street for entire 90 days. It was during that hospital stay that we eventually reconnected and I was able to speak to him about his attitude about me. He lived another 10 miserable years existence after that. He has short term memory loss, double vision in his right eye, an AIDC (automatic internal cardiac defibrilator) and an artificial aortic valve. His upper body looked like a road map due to all of the incision scars. It was a living hell for him.

12:36 PM  
Blogger VerityINK said...

Jesus Patsy--you have been through the mill that 20 years of emphysema brought me with my Dad. In the end, he refused to talk to me... I was not good enough for that, it seems. But I would have taken care of him until the end--if only he had let me. It is my most profound sorrow that I was not worth that much to him.

12:45 PM  
Anonymous Patsy said...

Well, Donal, it was his loss.

But I want to share something with you. An epiphany I had many years ago, about a year after my late husband passed away.

What do you think happens to us in heaven? I believe that our human faults and failures, shortcomings and oversights are replaced with God's grace, that all of the earthly things we worried about are gone and what is left is love... love for our loved ones, compassion and understanding, and most of all forgiveness.

Your father is in heaven Donal, looking down upon you, loving you, wishing you well, cherishing you and feeling so proud of the woman you are. And whatever petty differences he had with you on this Earth, have been replaced with forgiveness and understanding and pure love. I know this is true Donal.

12:53 PM  
Blogger VerityINK said...

If only that were true. Some hurts we have on earth are never healed--that we shall know the pain of others always.

12:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OH DONAL

A MASTER AT WORK.

It takes a unique person to be able to share a vein...

We accept your gift with gratitude, best friend and a MENSCH.

batya

12:59 PM  
Blogger VerityINK said...

Thank you, dear friend, always, Batya--and now I am crying.... It seems such an emotional day...

1:05 PM  
Anonymous Patsy said...

Donal, for a very long time I could not forgive my father for all that happened to me, to our family. But I began to realize that he just couldn't help himself. He was flawed ... as we all are flawed. I learned at some point to accept his flaws and it was then that I truly forgave him. That I realized he got no joy or happiness from his anger and raving. I felt pity for him and my bitterness melted, I was able to love my father again. It was only after I truly forgave him that I found the love I felt for him all along and was able to feel his love for me too. Forgiveness is not something that just happens when you "get over" something. It's a choice, Donal. It's never too late to make that choice and it can heal your broken heart more than you know. It will free your wounded soul. It did mine.

1:07 PM  
Blogger VerityINK said...

I have. Certainly I have. I only have the profound sorrow of knowing I had no gifts to give him... in HIS eyes... what a tremendous, heartbreaking, shame...

1:33 PM  
Blogger VerityINK said...

You know, folks, I did not ever think I had it in me to write such a thing--and I am totally abashed that I did.

1:41 PM  
Anonymous Patsy said...

I promise you he sees them now and many more than you even know you possess. Donal, this is the truth. Just try to think about what happens to one's soul when you're in the presence of the Lord in His Kingdom of Heaven. Profound enlightenment and wisdom. You're transformed, forever. Your father is cherishing all of you now, Donal. He truly wants to ease the suffering you endure. Don't you think he knows he was wrong? Don't think about how he was here on Earth, try to imagine what changes Heaven has made in him, how it made him whole. Let yourself feel his love, it's there. All you have to do is believe.

1:46 PM  
Blogger VerityINK said...

My goodness, you have such a beautiful soul, Patsy. Don;t you know that?

I would dream a dream of happiness if I ever thought my faher thought that about me...

1:54 PM  
Blogger VerityINK said...

Do we all have to forgive our fathers? I think so...

1:58 PM  
Blogger VerityINK said...

Of course, I did not expect life to be perfect...

1:59 PM  
Anonymous Patsy said...

Well it's no wonder you're reluctant to let yourself believe this about your father Who wants to set themselves up for more rejection? But I promise you you won't be rejected by him ever again. You know Donal, it's a strange thing about fatal illnesses that kill their victims bit by bit. It changes some people's behavior profoundly, the sicker they get, the more ugly they become. I saw this as the truth after my late husband died, how his illness, although we didn't know he was sick, had changed him over the last few years of his life. He treated me well, but his kids?? There he was downright cold and cruel and I never understood it. It wasn't rational. He'd always been such a strong, vibrant, aggressive man, that the last few years of his life he was different, suspicious. I realized after his passing that it wasn't him, but the oxygen deprivation to his brain from his failing heart and undiagnosed/untreated diabetes.

Perhaps that's what happened to your father.

But the thing is, when they are freed of their human existence, the illness that wounded their souls dies, too. Your father, my late husband ... their souls have been restored.

I've obviously spent a lot of time thinking about this. Part of the grieving process. I so loved my husband, I still do. I still feel the pain so deep in my heart. I have learned to live with this pain, but it never goes away.

I truly understand the pain you feel about your father, the regret that you cannot change the past. Even if he was still with us, you cannot go back and change the past, you can only change today.

I am so very sorry you feel such profound sadness, Donal. I know how hard it is to endure, I really do, my dear,dear friend.

2:12 PM  
Blogger VerityINK said...

Oh, and now I am howling in my own grief--and yours, too, Patsy... so many tears.... No, my father was never such an enlightened man. On his death, my brother had convinced him to be an atheist... He never knew my love of him or my humanity--and he never will--and THAT is my great grief.

I'm sorry about your late husband. People, to know them, are so entirely complicated... I do not know what to do about that...

2:21 PM  
Blogger VerityINK said...

Patsy... I think women have a connection that men can only dream of... I know what you mean, I know how you feel... I hope you know that.

2:23 PM  
Anonymous Patsy said...

I'll tell you something more. While my late husband was in the hospital, after his heart attack and before the qunituple bypass that killed him, he said the most blasphemous things. I trembled with fear for his soul. The evening of his death we had a small family wake at our house with the preacher. I was in agony over where my husband was and I talked privately with the preacher. I told him about my fears and he said the most profound thing in response to my question of where his soul was:

"I can't tell you where his soul is, but I can tell you this; God always makes the Right decision."

I knew then that my husbnad was in Heaven, for all of that blasphemous bluster in his final hours, roaring at death. God knew that too, for my husbnad was His son too and he knew who he really was.

God knew your father and no matter what poison your brother tried to fill your father's soul with, he was no match for Him. Whatever your brother manipulated your father into doing for his own selfish monetary gain, he ultimately failed in his attempts to corruot his soul. God is omnipotent, there is no man more powerful than Him.

Your father was saved Donal. I know he was.

2:32 PM  
Blogger VerityINK said...

I pray that that was true. My brother is so unthinking... I sometimes think he dos not even know what life is...he is so profoundly unmindful of why we are here... He was always held up to me as the 'smartest in the family'. It took me along time to realize he hasn't got a clue...

2:44 PM  
Blogger VerityINK said...

My God--I wonder why it is that we have to be 45 years-old before we realize such a thing?

2:47 PM  
Anonymous Patsy said...

Healing a wounded, broken heart takes a long time and whole lot of soul searching. You must realize that life isn't about who loves us, it's about who WE LOVE. Nothing your father or your UN-intelligent, avaricious brother did came anywhere near your soul. If they had it would have hardened your heart and you would feel apathy, you'd feel indifferent. the fact that you don't proves it. Your love and longing for your father and wanting to give to him and him to approve and accept you in return are all positive feelings that demonstrate your generous, loving heart and humanity. Love ourself as you love your father, Donal. You are worthy of it, too.

3:13 PM  
Blogger VerityINK said...

Patsy, you write beautiful things...

3:16 PM  
Blogger The Merry Widow said...

Because it takes life and experience and failure and dissappointment and falling and stupid choices andall the crappe that living in fallen bodies in a fallen world brings. We don't have the wisdom of living to understand, and understanding makes forgiveness easier. Unfortunately there are people who never connect the two. As we grow older, we only become more like the decision we made as to wheither we are saints or sinners!
Patsy-G*D NEVER makes mistakes, we in our finite little minds can only grasp so much, the rest is based on relationship and trust!
I was blessed with a very godly man, we married later, but have theblessing of 2 teens. My late had the joy of being there for their births and made it a point to be there as they grew. When he was receiving chemo, he took over the homeschooling so that he could have more time with them, rather than mope around feeling sorry for himself. Thank the Good Lord, he went fast at the end, but our 2 can look back and know that Dad loved them more than he could express!
How long has it been for you? Just over 4 years for me.

tmw

3:19 PM  
Anonymous Patsy said...

Thank you Donal, so do you. This post you wrote touched me so very deeply. You have much wisdom and an incredibly big heart. Patsy

3:22 PM  
Anonymous Patsy said...

How wonderful your husband was, how unselfish, how loving. I lost my husband 10 years ago this past October. It hardly seems possible that he's been gone a decade. I was truly blessed for the 19 years we enjoyed together and I am eternally grateful to God for the gift he gave me in that man. And he has blessed me again with my husbnad of 5 1/2 years, who lost his 1st wife to stomach cancer after 24 years together. We helped each other heal and I am honestly very, very happy with my 2nd husband. Have you thought about remarrying? There's nothing like a new love to heal a broken, lonely, aching heart.

3:31 PM  
Blogger JINGOIST said...

That was a wonderful and heartfelt post DONAL. You seem to have a firm grip on your relationship with your dad. I'm 43 and it took me 38 years to really respect and admire my father. I spent 28 years more or less taking years off of his life, and for that I'll always be ashamed.

He's always been brilliant, Mercurial AND DIFFICULT as hell! When I was growing up he was very affectionate but never attempted to be a "friend" in the way that some of my friend's dads did. When my brother or I stepped over the line he had a VOLCANIC temper and did we ever get some beatings!!! I always got the worst of it, thank G-d they were few and far between.

My father made a fortune selling insurance in Minnesota, but would have given his "left one" to make comparable money as a professor of Shakespearean Theater. That still is his passion at 73. Now he has a small businees in TN AND takes care of my mother who had a stroke. He was FAR from perfect as a young man, but today he is my hero! Believe me there is a book there that he won't allow us to write.

As for abortion, wouldn't it be nice if there was a perfect solution to that dilemma? I can't think of one. I REALLY like your thoughts on that one and agree with what you said.

Morgan

5:16 PM  
Anonymous Patsy said...

Well ... fellow conservatives? I've come to the conclusion that it ain't being a parent ... or one of their kids. Human relationships, familial or otherwise require a sense of humor, lots of patience and a ton of forgiveness.

5:54 PM  
Blogger JINGOIST said...

That's VERY true Patsy

BUT

We are often required to repeatedly cut slack to family members. Have you ever wondered how many of your extended family would even be your friends if you weren't required to meet up with them at weddings etc.?

Morgan

6:17 PM  
Anonymous Patsy said...

As my brother so eloquently put it so many years ago, "You can't pick your relatives."

And as far as cutting so much slack, those that do evil get theirs in the end. They have to live with themselves, too. That's justice enough for some of them, is it not?

There but for the Grace of God go I, eh?

6:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I was a liberal(and an alcoholic) I was all for abortion. When I sobered up and began to see more of my nieces and nephews being born and began to the miracle of Gods gift of life I realized how much poorer my familys life would have been, how much emptier it would have been. I remember my late mothers joy at being a grandmother and my fathers pride at being a grandfather and at my being an uncle. If anyone of my brothers or sisters had excersied their ''choice'' not of that would have been possible. Yes,abortion is a sometimes necessary medical procedure, a fact of life. I('m sorry for you Donal that things were as you describe with your father. I was blessed to have two of the lovingest,caring and involved parents any child could have. And though I don't have children, I learned from the example of my dad that perhaps the single greatest thing any father can do for his children is to love their mother. And my dad certanily did love my mother. Johnnymac.

6:49 PM  
Blogger JINGOIST said...

So true JM. Having children, or nieces and nephews sure does change your outlook. I had NO use for kids until my son Marcus was 3 weeks old. Then something clicked BIGTIME!

I didn't know it at the time, but He was tapping me on the shoulder and letting me know He was there.

Morgan

7:42 PM  
Anonymous z said...

Morgan, while reading through some of these posts, I was looking for yours, remembering the great things you've said about your own father.....I was thanking God I had a father like yours........there and connected and encouraging and smart and handsome and funny.

He had one real fault: impatience. not bad, huh?

But, of course, he couldn't have been the saint I think he was...he died 13 years ago last week, and I"ll miss him till the day I die.

Dads are SO important....even Patsy's and D's Dads were so important, flaws and all ....when one considers how much an impact these men had on their girls..how much they loved them, or just appreciated having them around, one has to feel that our society's falling apart for good reason.

Dads, whether they're terrific or not, are important........as D said "at least he was THERE"...and 'we' are raising a whole generation of kids with NO dads..even bringing them into the world with no known dad......

and we think we're so smart, huh?
sad.

be well..z

10:55 PM  
Blogger The Merry Widow said...

Patsy-A week after my late died, G*D literally tapped me on the shoulder and gave me a promise that I didn't ask of HIM! It was this, "I AM a Husband to the widow and a Father to the fatherless." HE hasn't let me down in those years! I'm spoiled, I haven't run into any man that I even have more than a passing interest in. Dear Lord, a month after my late's memorial service I was hit on by an idiot at church, it was in front of another couple and we walked away in shock. I wanted to slug him!
I have men friends, they are mostly married, and I try to be friends to their wives because I truely see them as brothers, not "possibilities"!
Between my late and G*D I'm probably to spoiled to settle for less! LOL! ;-}
My Dad was the reason I was adopted by the couple who took me. We bonded at the first meeting, I was 18 mons. old at the time. So I had a pretty solid relationship, not perfect, but then I'm not either!
So I just rock along with G*D, and home school my 2, do counselling and love my "family" in G*D!
Due to Christ and my being adopted, it's a double-whammy, all the grandparents are dead and the rest don't consider me family, or they don't like the stand my late and I took about Jesus. So the church has been my family, and a pretty darn good one!
I have brothers and sisters that have been more family than what is supposed to be! So, Patsy, I got to choose mine!
Good morning, G*D bless and Maranatha!

tmw
PS-I'm a Patricia, myself!

3:24 AM  
Anonymous bobcat said...

I don't think I have ever read anything more beautiful than your words here. Really.

8:15 AM  
Anonymous teller said...

That is one of the more beautiful things I have ever read. Truly. We all have fathers... of one sort or another. You have said them both. All.

8:33 AM  
Anonymous Patsy said...

My goodness, Donal, see what you a great gift you gave to all of us with this post of yours? You have a special talent for awakening the passion within us all.

TMW (Patricia), I wasn't really trying to push you into another man's arms, only sharing my experience with you. Would you believe my late husband is the one who said those words about a new love healing a broken, lonely heart? At the time he said them, it was to comfort a friend who had lost her husband recently and was in agony. I never forgot those words for some reason. Life is strange, isn't it? Patsy

8:37 AM  
Blogger VerityINK said...

It sure means the world to me to hear that, Patsy. I am just sobbing... really.

8:49 AM  
Blogger VerityINK said...

Bobcat, and Teller, thank you so much. Your words mean the world to me.

8:51 AM  
Blogger The Merry Widow said...

Oh, Patsy-I didn't think so! Just some people don't understand why I'm not involved with someone else. Truth to tell, I haven't run into anyone I'm interested in. I guess G*D has too much else for me to do! Like my blog, and moving and building a new house! Life is definitely interesting enough without throwing another man in my life(my son is almost 18). LOL!

tmw
PS-My 16 yr. old daughter wants to marry me off! go figure? LOL!

10:57 AM  
Blogger Brooke said...

My five year old daughter tries to play matchmaker with my 76 year old (twice widowed) grandmother and the widowers in her neighborhood! LOL!

Donal, what a powerful post!

11:33 AM  
Blogger VerityINK said...

Thank you, Brookie--I do not know where it came from...

12:31 PM  
Blogger The Merry Widow said...

Donal-Oh, you "know" where it came from, and most especially "why"! It is a healing process.
Sometimes it's hard, but the removal of scars and healing wounds frees you!

tmw

12:46 PM  
Blogger VerityINK said...

Yes. As always, TMW, you are correct--as He always, always, always IS.

12:55 PM  

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