For years, I harbored so much bitterness towards people who had proactive loving fathers in their lives. It was like this grotesque blob of resentment sitting in the pit of my stomach; especially on Father’s Day. What an awful holiday for those who have absent fathers. It can really feel like a slow torturous event. The commercials and banners and discounts (Ugh! I always miss the discount). In attempt to negate these feelings, every year I would send my mother Father’s Day cards or balloons, flowers etc. It was the whole “My-mother-was-my-father-growing-up” routine. Mixed with feelings of gratitude and sympathy for my mom, I would say, “Hey mom, you rock” but indirectly I was saying, “I hate that he ditched us.” And then there was that one-year when I listed all of my accomplishments hoping that it added up to my birth years. That was my way of saying to myself, “I did all of these things without you Dad, so there!” Looking back, I know I was just searching for a way of saying to my father that he broke my heart. I was trying my hardest to pretend as if he never existed at all; even if the world wanted to make a national reminder of him.
Evidently, none of these remedies cure wounds. They may numb them, but they don’t heal them. So this year I decided to do something different-almost impossible. I decided to celebrate my father on Father’s day. This year, I am going to acknowledge that although my father has not been present in my life since I was 14, I do actually have one. I am going to celebrate him because in all honestly, he is a father. Good or bad, he created a life that has the audacity to share, love and grow. To me, that is worthy of praise.
I forgive my father for not being the parent I still truly believe I deserve. I also forgive my father for neglecting my two handsome younger brothers who amaze with their strength and charm every day. Sometimes, I think it is a blessing that my father was absent in our lives. It has vividly shown us the type of character we would like to practice and display. We have learned through his actions, the importance of integrity. So this year, my healing will begin by choosing not to be a slave to other people’s mistakes or negligence;but to accept these people as humans and celebrate them anyway. I decided that this year, I would wish my father well on his journey. I hope that he finds love and compassion while he continues to grow into himself. I congratulate my father on the one thing he perfected, that is, giving birth to life and I am so grateful that he did.