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After having a deep discussion about the perception of “God” I closed the door on the world outside and let myself feel whatever I could after the death of a family member. Granted, she was my stepmother, and we hadn’t spoken in years, but that didn’t detract from the memories of good times and acceptance of her as a part of my father’s life and therefore a part of mine. I cast the blame on her of my father leaving us. I cast the blame on her for the distance that eventually grew between my children and their grandfather. And, I cast the blame on her that her actions 37 years ago cause the destruction of my family unit. It was always difficult to cast any of that blame on my father despite the sometimes traumatic childhood I’d experienced. I found it easy to hate her.

Last night when I shed tears for her, I embraced yet another duality about myself – the equal strength of love and hate in my personal universe. A friend asked me how it was that I could write so passionately about human emotion, save for the emotion of love. He said I had the biggest heart of anyone he’d ever known and the depth of my giving and caring for others often surprised him. Yet when it comes to love, whether of the self or for others, a clear defined sensation of fear creeps up my spine and sends warning signals through my body to the point of physical pain. I don’t fear much in this life, but love and death unhinge me.

I realized how much time I’d lost with her, and how I should have mended the rift somewhere along the way. She was not the one that put distance between my father and his family. That was his choice. Now I know I must journey to where my father is and create some sense of forgiveness so that I may find peace. I cannot change what happened in my life, and I cannot carry the burden of my father’s choices. I can, however, determine the paths my future choices take me on. What I’ve most let myself become enveloped in is the knowledge that those paths will be more paved with love than hate.

That is all.

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