This isn’t an easy post for me personally to write. I’ve been in two half over whether or not I should write this post but then remember why I’ve created this blog in the first place. And it wasn’t to worry about over posting something that can be considered a sensitive subject.
Today marks my father’s birthday. I personally never know how to feel on this day and usually end up approaching the day with a neutral feeling. My father died or at least we found out about his death 10th August 2013, a hard time for all my family.
He wasn’t a good man and at that time for his reason, we hadn’t seen him for over a year already but this isn’t a post to speak ill of the dead, In fact, I intend for this post to be the opposite and I promise there is a lesson to be learned in this unusual post.
So when I received the news I didn’t know how to react… so I didn’t. I didn’t have anything to say or know what to do with the news and so instead I asked everyone else if they were alright. I thought there was something seriously wrong with me for not being able to cry or for not feeling anything.
In October we had his funeral. It was the first one I’d ever been to and again I didn’t know what to make of things. I had had a drink before I went there to work up my nerves to seeing family I had never even heard of before never mind meeting for the first time. I felt like there was a lot of pressure at the time.
Once we got there I was overcome by everyone else’s emotions. Everyone was upset, almost everyone was crying and I could tell that everyone would rather be anywhere else than saying goodbye to a life they bearly now knew.
It was a rather quick and almost peaceful ceremony, but watching my brother carry their father in… It possibly had to have been one of the hardest things I had to have watched.
All his kids got up to talk on his behalf, I didn’t have much to say as by that point my nerves had settled back in, staring into so many familiar yet unfamiliar faces was starting to take its toll.
But again this isn’t about that. This post is about not taking things for granted. I realised I never could react to hearing the news because I had said goodbye to my father long before he left this earth, I had made peace with him not being in my life and I realised that even after hearing the news nothing in my life really changed, the only thing that changed was the abusive words and emotional hell I’d received from other people who claimed to have loved him yet spent every moment bad mouthing him. And watching my loved ones crumble at the news and thereafter.
Yes, my father wasn’t a good man but that didn’t mean he hadn’t taught us anything good and that doesn’t mean there weren’t good moments either. There was only one thing I could take away from his passing and that’s, ‘you can’t spend your days asking why or dwelling on all the bad moments’. If you do that then you are only going to bring bad into your life.
I had good moments with my father, when I was younger he was always the first to believe me when I told my parents I was ill (I had three older siblings at the time who liked to fake to get time off school haha) and I remember the day he taught me to ride his bike (yes not child’s bike but his grown ass adult bike). It was on a day he had picked me up from school because I wasn’t feeling very well, he had ridden his bike there and had picked me up and placed me on the seat of his bike and held on to the back to stop me from falling off and proceeded to push us home… Or at least that’s what I had thought.
Halfway home I turned around to say something to him only to see no one there, in a panic I looked up to see him standing, smiling and waving in the distance as I rode the bike! I started shouting at him to come to get the bike back and eventually he did after praising me and telling me that I could do it all on my own now.
I also remember when he bought me and my little sister some fishes for his tank for when we went to visit him, we were so happy to pick them out and feed them! I’m pretty sure he let my sister get a goldfish at some point as well after one of his shark fish ate her fish.
He also used to take us to see our aunty Jane a lot of the time. I remember when we used to go over there she’d give me and my sister some chocolate before letting us explore her house haha.
or when he used to take us to have sleepovers at our nan’s house, I used to love those sleepovers! Every time he told us he was taking us to see her or to have a sleepover there it always became the best part of the day.
Or when he had created me another little brother! That had to have been an exciting time because I was at the stage in my life where I was actually really motherly and a tad bit bossy. So I was on nappy duty and entertainment duty whenever I was there haha.
…So I guess want I want everyone to take from this post is if you are in the position to forgive a parent for the things they have done or the pain they caused then I suggest you do before it’s too late and you find yourself forgiving them through that of a wooden box. Forgiving my father was one of the most freeing things I could have ever done. And in doing so it’s fading out the bad memories and I’m remembering more good things.
You only hurt yourself when holding a grudge. The only way you are going to find any kind of happiness or peace is to forgive what was done, accept what is and look forward to what could be.
It took me a while to come to that conclusion and even now it doesn’t stop the flood of emotions that overtake me from time to time but less painful to think about now and more freeing to think of the future. my father left behind a lot of lost, angry, confused and broken children. He left us to deal with our emotions at too young of an age that left us all saying and doing things we’d never dream of saying or doing now that time has passed and we have grown up a bit.
And no matter the hurt, no matter the words said, the things done it’s so freeing to be able to truthfully say that I’ve forgiven all and I’m at peace with what happened and I’m at peace with knowing that I can move on with my life and make my future better than my past.
I haven’t said this in years but Happy birthday dad. Thank you for the lessons you taught me and for the good memories you did give me. Thank you for memories of Mike driving us all miles back to where you lived, thank you for the memories of an exciting Christmas eve and chocolate filled Easters.
I believe my siblings still have their own journey to take in finding their own way of finding peace in the pain but I know they’ll find it just as I’m hoping anyone else who is going through any pain finds peace in it.
I wouldn’t have found mine had I not had them and my mum in my life. If I didn’t have that good in my life to remind me of what good was I feel it would have taken me a lot longer to get mentally/emotionally to where I need to be with things. Sometimes all it takes is a deep breath and looking at all the little good things in your life to help make you realise all the other good things in your life.
So to my siblings, don’t see this as a sad day but as a day to celebrate and remember all the good memories you had with him, the silly little conversations or stupid little arguments and the days out.
And to those who are currently holding a grudge against things done in the past, let go and be at peace with yourself because, in the end, it’s only you that you are hurting. I know there are just some things that can’t be forgiven but if it can then do so because It’s you that is preventing yourself from being happy. Forgive before it’s too late to.