IAL (as I know him) must have written this days ago. I gave him access to write but I have to post them. I need to correct that because I did it when I first started. I knew him and sojourner for a couple years by then from Christian forums.
I am sorry to have left this pending. Its a wonderful testimony to realizing things soon enough to act, and why soon enough can end unexpectedly.
Sorry IAL. Its my pleasure to post this and hope it inspires good.
It’s been a long time since I have written much at all. I feel there is a good reason for this; my opinion shrank in my own estimation. Nothing I have set about to write in the last 6 months seems to carry the weight of what I should have learned. What great insight I should be able to share at the passing of my father. I’ve been left without words. I learned to appreciate dad more fully due to the help of the “manosphere”, guys like Empath and Dalrock helped me to see my dad in a new light. Instead of the frustrated genius working his blue collar job for over 30 years, resenting his family and a son that forced him to grow up sooner than he wanted. I now had a window into that frustration. The lonely disposable life of a guy doing the right thing in the face of near universal hostility/apathy, trying to have people believe that he had his shit together, that he was “okay”. I had started seeing this on my own as I’ve matured, but the process sped up with my friendships and contacts here. Thankfully it happened in time for me to have an evening with my dad.
It was last December and we were finishing up a project I had started with mom. Earlier dad had disciplined my young cousin and it had brought up a lot of my anxiety over my own upbringing. This time though I had a new filter to see through. I sat with him through the night and got to express to him my pride in him, how he had raised me and provided for me, how he allowed himself to be chewed up by the system for us. I got to do it in such a way, because of the blessing of circumstances, that let him know that not only had I forgiven him for the violence of my childhood, but that I was proud of him. All this without exposing his shame. It was a God thing.
Dad died in September in his canoe (helping someone else with their “bucket list”) three months shy of his first pension check. He was the third member of his family to die at that age and he knew it was coming. He didn’t complain, didn’t call me and say that his heart was dying. That he was so tired. The best thing I could say about dad that week from my perspective was: I missed him.
Most of my life I feared him, was terrified of him, was angry at him, was fighting to forgive him. I had spent so much time wishing him dead, trying to put distance between us, needing that space, hoping he would change, that I would heal. In the end God was good enough to turn my heart and now what is left is what should be: I miss him.
I wish I could have honored him more, I’m thankful that I got to honor him as much as I did.