Sunday, June 21, 2009

Day 280 Fathers Day Reflection and A Nice Evening Planned

Day 280

Fathers Day Reflection and A Nice Evening Planned

One of the important things I knew I had to accomplish along this journey was reconnecting with my father. I did late last year and it was a wonderful thing. I completely let go of the past resentments and along the way discovered the meaning of real forgiveness . The following is an excerpt from Day 106 titled “Physical and Emotional Health-Both Important”: Today I did something that's very important to my emotional growth. And although it may not seem like it would make a difference on this journey, it does. This journey is about getting a complete understanding of everything that has made me who I am. To be the best person I can be inside and out, I need to fill some voids that have been with me way too long. It's a very long story, and extremely personal, but I'll try to give a quick abbreviated version. The relationship between my Mom and Dad never survived long enough to see my birth on October 23rd 1971. My father was not a part of my life ever. As a kid, my mom would show me a picture of a man in uniform that “looked like” my dad. So at 19 I decided to find him. Armed with a couple of clues and a telephone, I found him within 45 minutes alive and well in Arab, Alabama. Any resentment and hard feelings over his absence in my life completely disappeared the moment he spoke. It was the most awkward moment of my life. What do you say to your father for the first time in your life at 19? I said “Whatever you do, don't hang up!” “I'm your son.” Well, he didn't hang up and we talked for a really long time that night. We exchanged pictures and phone calls several times over the course of a few months, then we planned a meeting. My first trip to Alabama was too much to handle. We turned around after coming within 150 miles of his house. It wasn't until a couple of years or more later that we made the trip. We spent two weeks in Alabama and met almost the entire family. It turned out I had an aunt living in Midwest City, so we also visited her family down there. It was a wonderful experience, but still I just wasn't emotionally ready to handle it in a positive way. After that trip, I completely fell out of touch, and haven't really pursued contact since. I've never met my two half brothers, and that's something that I really want and need to do. As for a relationship with my father? I'd really like to at least talk occasionally. I don't want to someday find his obituary on the internet, and realize I don't have another chance to know him in some way. Over the last several months my father and I have exchanged e-mails, phone calls, and he even occasionally reads this blog. I just had a wonderful thirty minute conversation with him this afternoon. His message to me was simple. He doesn't want me to live a life of regrets, he wants me to excel, and leave no stone unturned on my journey to a wonderful life. It's amazing how wonderful our very simple relationship is now, after letting go of the past. I'm learning that my dad is a very real, very good person, and like all of us, he's struggled with good and bad choices. He understands that choosing to not be a part of my life was a mistake. It's one that he regrets deeply, but we're past that now, and with the slate wiped clean with complete and total forgiveness, we can move forward to a mutually wonderful relationship. I never got a chance to meet Danny, my older half brother. Before we could reconnect, he died from aortic dissection, a condition caused by years of uncontrolled high blood pressure, he was 42. I've haven't met, but I've connected via telephone with my younger half brother Silas. We hope to get a chance soon to meet face to face for the first time.

Some more jump roping and a very adventurous 10K walk is in our near future, like in the next couple of hours! We're also going to try to squeeze in a family movie and I'm getting ready to fire up the grill for a fantastic little cookout. We're going to have a nice fathers day evening.

I'm cutting tonight's blog a little short. One of the biggest criticisms I receive from my loving family is that I spend way too much time on this blog. I do spend a lot of time, but what it has given me in terms of learning about myself and my behaviors through writing, is invaluable. I just can't put a price on the value of my blog. It's precious to me. It is my story. Goodnight and...

Good Choices,
Sean

9 comments:

  1. Not the typical Father's Day story, but I've learned not to expect the "typical" when I venture over this way.

    Happy Father's Day, Sean. Good choice in short-changing the blog for a day and loading up on the quality time with the family.

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  2. Sean, I came here after reading a comment you left to Losing Waist.

    I am absolutely in awe over this. How wonderful, how gracious, how evolved you are.

    Forgiveness is a difficult thing that so many of us struggle with. I know I have a tough time with it. Look at the good that has come from your true act of forgiveness.

    Wow.

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  3. Jo used the right word - evolved. I'm glad that you are connecting with your father now.

    My husband also complains that I spend to much time in the blogging world, but I really need the support and the input. I learn so much from my fellow bloggers!

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  4. This was an incredible blog tonight, Sean. I understand all those feelings you expressed about your dad. I had the same ones. I didn't meet my dad until I was 32. We've enjoyed a few times together...very few, maybe 3 or 4 in the past 20+ years...but I treasure each one. He seems to have lost time for me in the past 10, but it's just showing me more of who he is. I let him know that my mom died and I didn't want to wonder everyday if my only parent was alive or not, so he told me he would give my 1/2 brother my phone number so he could contact me if that happened. (how freakin kind of him). He is almost 75. I know we don't really have a relationship, but I still feel the need to know that he is there. I'm glad your relationship with your dad is good. I am reading this blog a day late, so I hope you had a wonderful fathers day!

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  5. So glad to know that you were able to forgive your dad. Enjoy him while he's here. You'll miss him when he's gone.

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  6. Happy Belated Father's Day btw!!

    hmmm, I opened the window and then went to another window so now I kinda forgot what I was gonna say way back an hour or so ago! oops! uuuh...lemme go look at what you posted on my page!

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  7. I remember...Farmer's Markets. As a one day I'm going to actually make it and sell it artist, I like the concept of supporting local farmers who most likely are growing organic vegs and herbs. I'd one day hope to be supported by local and then national art-lovers in the same fashion. I love looking through farmers' stands and seeing what I can haul away and cook that day or later in the week. What's funny is when I'm cooking healthier, grocery shopping is a lot more fun! Anyone else feel that way? okay wait, this is your blog, not mine..i'll just copy and paste this now :)!

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