“Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift.”
― Mary Oliver
My father was a futurist, when he was a child, he predicted they would
land on the moon, people just laughed at him back then.
I was a terrible disappointment to my father, I was an underachiever of the highest order.
Somehow it never bothered me a bit, but it bothered him a lot.
He would spend hours lecturing me on the benefits of academic greatness,
and after a few toots it got even more hectic.
I wanted to please him but nothing in me would allow me to be something I was not.
Perhaps there was a force greater than myself at play.
I did have some things in common with my dad, we both loved sci-fi and cartoons,
and as the only one in the family it gave us a common bond.
I think he wanted me to have some kind of achievement
so that he could add me to his brag album, like a trophy to be gloat on.
My struggle always was to be accepted by him.
I couldn’t wait to leave home and no longer be under his thumb.
Sadly the world was not very kind to me and basically, I fell on my face. (for a while)
I do sometimes wonder if I had done what he asked I would be at the very least a university graduate, if that is anything to write home about?
Having said all this I do find myself having great affection for my dear old dad, it’s been a kind of miracle in the making. I was compelled at one stage to forgive him for not believing in me and not loving me the way I needed to be loved. You know how that goes, it’s a very long and hard process, and sometimes an extremely painful one… it’s a giving up bit by bit of who I wanted him to be and learning to accept the life I have been given.
Somehow within me I know that he did the best he could with what little he knew at the time.
He had his own mountain of baggage!
Perhaps he even had a hand in molding me into the person that I am today, in a very strange kind of alternative way, learning through contrasts.
When I was a child, he made me keep secrets and I never understood why, but I became a believer in truth, and in being real. To this day I am not very good at keeping secrets.
Because of him I question everything, I’m a curious human being. I tell people I love them as much as I possibly can, something he was unable to do…
A few days before he died, he smiled at me with such great affection, it melted away much of the animosity in a single instant. It was like a window into another world where love covers all sins, a supernatural feeling, or maybe it was just because he was high on Morphine.
Perhaps even a moment of enlightenment.
In that moment he seemed to have pride in his rebel daughter, and I’m so grateful for that gift.
It gave me a glimpse of the hope that does not disappoint us!
That was my beginning into the knowing, the journey into becoming, opening the box of darkness and seeing it as a gift.
(I wasn’t going to post this, but part of my therapy is saying things out-loud
and talking through the hard stuff…
If you got this far, thank you for reading!)