Saturday, October 16, 2010

and so it is

my dad & me (with a very dirty face from crawling around in the garden), summer 1975
two years ago today is the last time i saw or spoke to my dad. this week i've been thinking a lot about the fact on october 16th 2008, that i had no idea that this is how life would go. i had no idea that my brief conversation that thursday morning would be my last in person interaction with him. despite the fact that my dad is very much alive & lives only a couple of miles from me, the end of relationship was as sudden as if he had died suddenly. i've thought through if i would have said anything differently, or tried to say one more 'i love you' or any other final statement. but my last words to him were that i loved him, i just couldn't trust him.

i've wrestled a lot with the boundaries i've chosen to have with my dad. my decision (with matt) to cease contact with him didn't come lightly, and it only reflects what is best for matt & me, not necessarily anyone else. sometimes the best way to love someone has nothing to do with saying the words "i love you." sometimes the best way to love is to say, "i love you too much to continue being in this relationship as it currently is in its dishonesty and inauthenticity." and so that is how i personally can best love my dad right now - by refusing to be in a relationship of pretending.

i've thought a lot about my dad this week. three days ago was his birthday. today is the anniversary of my last contact with him. that day's events are still burned into my mind so clearly, and it grieves me that that is my last memory of my own dad. sometimes i really miss having a dad. it can be hard when matt's dad is here & playing with such delight with our daughters; i love it, but at the same time it serves as a reminder that my children won't know my dad too. it reminds me that i haven't seen him in such a long time. still, i know it is the best choice for my immediate family. and i've had to work through worrying whether other people will understand or bless our decision to be estranged from him.

we don't really get to choose how the story of our life goes. this is not the plot i would've desired or expected, but it is the one i am living. i can only hope that as time passes that these experiences grow me into a deeper, more authentic & empathetic person, parent, wife, and friend.


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