I am 50 years old but this morning I woke up feeling like that five-year old girl who use to run around the house in her pajamas following the smell of coffee looking for her Dad. I lost my Dad seven years ago today, which also happened to be his mother’s birthday. Some how knowing that he left us on his mother’s birthday has always left me with the comfort of feeling like she came to take her baby home.
My relationship with my Dad was a complicated one, but I was lucky because in the last years of his life we had the opportunity to work things out. I still feel his presence in my life very strongly. I do not waste my time focusing on the difficult parts of our relationship. I decided years ago that I would take the difficult moments as life lessons rather than an excuse to persecute him for a lifetime. The moment you are able to see your parents as human beings is the moment in life where you truly grow up.
Today I am thinking about all the really wonderful moments we shared like fishing together in a small boat on the lake, our trips to my Grandmother’s home in West Virgina, pitching pennies into Tupperware bowls on rainy days. Playing baseball in the field with all the kids in the neighborhood. He would play ball with us for hours, and when the ice-cream truck would come by he would buy an ice-cream for each, and every one of us.
My Dad taught me about generosity, how to take pride in doing things the right way. He taught me the love of reading, and to have compassion for those who have disabilities, and for those who are less fortunate. He taught me the importance of family. He taught me self-respect, and how to be strong.
The most important lesson my Dad taught me was forgiveness. I will honestly tell you that sometimes it takes me a little longer to reach the point of forgiveness, but in the end I am always able to reach that moment where I remember we are all simply human beings. Forgiveness is the ultimate act of unconditional love. It is love in its purest form, love without ego. I believe it is in those most precious moments we are able to be truly happy.
This morning as I sat alone drinking my coffee, I knew that I was only alone by physical appearances. I knew that I was having coffee with my Dad. 😉