Lessons from a father 10/52

March 6, 2022

The future lies before you, like a field of fallen snow; Be careful how you tread it, for every step will show. 

March: Mindfulness 

Week 10:  Lessons from a father

After reading “The boys” by Ron and Clint Howard, I was moved by their conversation about being a father. Ron spoke of his own father and worried, he could never measure up, and his son also carried those same concerns when he became a father. It reminded me of my own father and the influence fathers have in raising good humans.

Growing up, my father was a strict disciplinarian, as well as the person I looked to for wisdom and guidance. Some of my fondest memories come from the many days I visited their house, when he came home for lunch. These visits provided an opportunity to share meaningful conversation about life, providing the values I return to today. Of the many lessons, he often repeated how life is not fair, especially when we complained of daily troubles. I never understood the unfairness of life until losing my son Ryan, followed by my father’s death soon after. 

Those memories bring a pulse of sadness and I often wonder how I survived the last twenty-four years without his guidance? The life instruction he provided became my pillars of life while mourning the unfairness of it all. Ryan's death, changed us all, making our last conversations the difficult memories of today. It was one of the few times my father spoke candidly about his feelings as he muttered, “I don’t remember the last time I was truly happy.” 

Ryan’s death had shattered my father’s armor, revealing his inability to control what was happening. And as the reality of Ryan's death became clear, each of us fell into our grief. Eventually my father disappeared to a room by himself where the unfamiliar sobs echoed loudly through the ICU halls. Losing Ryan exposed another side of my father, one he attempted to hide most of our life. The depth of his pain still haunts me today.

Moving through the sticky residue of grief transformed me. Sending me in search of my purpose in this world. An invitation to investigate the truth loss with the only acts of love that are available for the bereaved to carry on.

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