Wednesday, July 1, 2009

I'm not even sure what to titles this post.
When Cathy's life changed?
Forgiving the first man in my life?
Spring of emotion?
None of those titles can fully describe the past 5 days, and the things I went through.
I guess I can start at the beginning. That would make the most sense.

After another visit to the Doctor, I had another 2 weeks off of work. That was good and bad news. First off I already had a week off, and two more weeks would leave me broke. But I do love any excuse to not go to the job I hate.

I had been planning to take 2 weeks off this summer anyways. I had planned out a trip to see my Grand mother and other family members, that I had not seen for 6 years. I also planned to gain the closure I had been looking for in regards to my Father.
But with the time off I was going to have to take to heal my foot, I would never be able to afford to take more time off for a vacation.
So Logically I had to go while I had this time off.

That's what I did, Thursday morning I had gotten the Doctors note, Friday morning we left (we being my Mom and I).
I knew this trip was not going to be an easy one. I have spent the greater part of my adult years hating my father. Divorce, adolescence, addiction, and depression were all factors that made our relationship go bad. But mostly I think it was because I needed some one to blame, for taking my family away. For making me act like an adult and taking my care free childish out look away. He was an easy target.

Five years ago he got remarried; he then replaced me in his life, with his new wife and step daughter. That probably was the most hurtful thing that he ever did to me. He gave up on me and loved her. I then formed a new burden to carry around, a new dislike for his wife and the little girl that took my spot in my Fathers heart.
Four years ago he passed away. I can remember the day my Mom told me he was gone. It's like a scene from a well watched movie. I had been watching a documentary on TV about monkeys with my friend Mel. We were house sitting for a women who was basically our Mom. I heard the dog bark and got up to see who was coming to the door. When I saw my Mom at the door, my first thought was "oh no Grandma Shipley". Only weeks before when I was watching my Grandma she went into a diabetic coma. I almost lost her, but thanks to one of the many lessons my Mom had taught me, I called the ambulance.
It was completely shocking when she told me my Dad had died. I didn't even know he was sick. I remember hugging her while she cried. I stared into the distance and felt a strange peace. I felt guilty for a while that I was not sad. But eventually my friends helped me see that he had only even caused me stress. I never went to his funeral. I had lost my Father long before that day.
Then I moved on with my life.
It wasn't until I moved to the big city that I ever felt him in my life again. During yet another stressful night, of trying to decide what to do with my life, my uncle brought it up.
"Cathy" he said.
"have you taken the time to forgive your Father?"
I hadn't really thought about it. Four years had passed and I no longer hated him. The more I grew up the better I could understand why he had been the way he was. Pain and hurt didn't blind and bias me any longer.
I took what my uncle said to heart, that night I spent hours on my knees. Praying that I would be able to fully let go of my childhood pains and forgive my Father. After that night I felt I had forgiven him.
But it soon became clear that I needed more than forgive him. I needed forgiveness and closure. The only place I could get that, was the only place I wanted to avoid.
The big city made me strong. Stronger than I had ever been.
So all this brought me to an eight hour long drive and the one place that held all my pain.

The day we got there, we went to see my step mom.
I was frightened beyond words. This women had been with my Dad when I hated him the most. When I had said some completely horrid and angry things to him. When I stopped speaking to him, when I didn't go to his wedding or funeral.
I thought she hated me for what I had done to him.
She didn't.
In fact she knew that one day I would come around. She was amazing. That conversation changed my life.
I sat on the motel bed afterwards, and was silent. This weight had lifted off my shoulders, this weight that I had carried for 12 years. It still hasn't come back.

We got ready to go to bed, My foot was in so much pain that day. Mom prayed, she asked for my foot to begin to heal and for the infection to leave. I remember the last thought that came into my mind that night as I fell asleep, be still the Lord God is with you.
The next morning my foot was no longer infected and the wound was practically healed.
She said it was because I had gotten rid of all those built up feelings. I'm sure that's partly it. I think mostly it was someone else.

The rest of the time I spent there was easy. Awkward, but easy. I managed to not cry again. That's more than I can say for my Mom though. I had the chance to let in the family that I had forced out so long ago. Some were a little more eager than others.
My Grandma was still the way she had always been. she was still the only person who could make you eat so much you'd burst unwillingly, all the while talking non stop.
My Uncles were what I expected, just a little older.......and both strangely resembled my Grand Father.

I'm still the same person I was, when I got into that car and started driving. I have just let go and become a little stronger. I just believe in my self a little more. I just feel a little more loved. But more importantly, I have a father to be proud of. Not to hate, recent, or even ignore. A father that loved me even when I said hurtful things. A fathers love. something I have spent 20 years without. That means so much to me.
I also found a faith I never knew I was capable of. One that had the power to physically and emotionally heal me.
So all in all I am grateful for how hard things once were for me. I'm grateful to have spent so long with out this feeling of love. I don't blame anyone any more. Not my Father, or my Mother, and especially not me. In the end every one found happiness. First my Father with his wife Joyce. Then my Mother with Tim. And now me with my Heavenly Father.

1 comment:

juliette pouwer said...

I don`t know what to say. I`m so proud of you, keep that strength with you. You`ll need it again and then it will grow stronger still.