Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A Call From My Father

Yesterday was my birthday and thanks to the magic of Facebook I received SO many birthday wishes.  It was overwhelming.  Everybody and their momma were wishing me a happy birthday: friends I see all the time, friends who have moved away who I haven't seen in years, parents of friends, cousins, former grade school teachers, people I used to work with, I mean everybody!  It was nice.

I had a good day.  Some coworkers took me out to lunch and another one surprised me with a big piece of chocolate cake. Thank you Jesus!  Honestly though the day was a mix of joy and sorrow because I have been a mix of joy and sorrow for quite some time now.  There are things in my life that I am SO grateful for and other things that have caused me so much disappointment it hurts to even name them.

So last night, while I was hovering over this space between joy and sorrow I got a call from my father.  He called to wish me a happy birthday.  My father and I have never been close and I don't expect that we ever will be.  This used to bother me when I was younger, but I have come to accept it.  Just a week ago I was calling him to wish him a happy birthday and struggling to believe that my father is now 67 with many more years behind him than in front of him.  It's weird and scary.  Time is taking its toll.  The man who worked 2 jobs for years is now retired.

And yet time has made my father more human to me.  My father has never been able to love me as I needed to be loved.  He has never known how to give me what I needed.   I've known that for many years, but now as I look upon my aging father I also realize that he is just a man who loves me as best as he can.  Is it enough?  No it's not, but he's doing the best he can.  And that's probably the reason why out of all the phone calls, text messages and facebook posts I received for my birthday yesterday, a call from my father is what I'll remember most.

Following the Way,

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