The closer you get to the end of your life the more concentrated the experience and memories of the past become. Our greatest moments of happiness seem like they just happened yesterday and the deepest wounds lay fresh, open and bleeding.
So I am finding in the final days with my father. He can’t tell you how old he is or what he had for dinner but continues to boast of his years abroad and the luxuries he allowed himself . Luxuries that left his family neglected emotionally, physically and financially. My mother has stayed for 54 yrs despite our best attempts at encouraging her to leave. Now he takes great pains to make sure we understand she stayed and “He won”.
I thought all these years she stayed because of the mind game he played. If you love me you won’t complain. If you love me you’ll tolerate my infidelity. I you love me money won’t be an issue. If you love me you’ll keep a home for me to return to. If you love me you’ll take care of me when I am sick and old. If you love me you will sit home and wait…and wait…and wait. I know now that it wasn’t the promises she made to him or for him. She promised GOD she would stay. She would honor the vows she made that day because THAT was who SHE was and who SHE needed to be to break thru to the other side.
I stood in the cross hairs yesterday, the target of my father’s dissatisfaction. I stood behind his wheelchair as he boasted to strangers how great his life was inspite of having horrible children. He pointed me out specifically and told them “She’s been trouble for 54 years”….I pointed out I was only 48…He said it didn’t matter I was trouble before I got here. He went on with his rant telling those that would listen that we tried to take away his wife… But she was still here. Like a TV evangelist he claimed his victory. He was the winner…and I was the loser. He was better than me and he could prove it. “NOBODY WANTED TO MARRY YOU”, he said.
I’d hand enough and wheeled him back inside and left him in the care of my mother and nurses. After two days of treatment he was able to go back home one more time, terminal, but not yet ready to leave this world.
I took them home, Denver and Wanda, and left for the solace of my own home immediately. I was still shocked and hurt by the venomous rant and tent revival testimony he shared with people in a hot parking lot. I pulled my car to the shoulder and reached out to the one person I still crave comfort from but it was not there. Only the Statement. “It’s not about you“.
Wanda had a love once and promised God she would stay. I had a love once and promised God I would pray.
The script was similar.
If you love me you’ll stay faithful and allow me to stray.
If you love me you’ll do all things my way.
You’ll hide in the shadows where no one will see, you’ll allow me to be who I want to be.
You’ll understand my needs and know they come first
You’ll tolerate the shame and all of the hurts
You’ll give up your friends and come when I call.
You’ll take what I give you, if you love me at all.
I didn’t live by the rules and she threw me away.
Yet it was still her comfort that I craved today.
One promised to stay; One promised to pray.
We’ve each learned our lessons, different hours, different days
We strive to become weightless
In our own time, in our own way.
You are correct, It’s not about me. It’s not about fathers and daughters, or mothers and lovers. It’s not about the have’s and have not’s you get in life. It’s about setting down that bag of rocks and leaving behind the burden. To honor the GOD within and lay down the prayer on a path in front of you of peace, guidance and perfect understanding in all things.
It’s about becoming weightless.
I love each and every one of you