Thursday, June 21, 2018

Dad's Lesson on Love

While I knew my father loved me, I was much closer to my mother.  My father was afforded limited access to me because my mother kept me very close to her.  I remember him coming home from work and he’d shadow box with me and it was fun.  Then he would get scolded by my mother who was concerned for my asthma.  My father was a strong presence in the house, but nowhere near my mother’s personality.  There were only a handful of times when my father and I talked intimately.  But they are memorable.  
I was 18 years old and I had just been dumped by my first serious girlfriend.  The relationship had started to become rocky, and I was too young and too stupid to know what was coming.  One night, on a hunch, I discovered her in the backseat of another man's car doing it.  I talked to her and matter of factly she told me it was over.   I was crushed.  I was furious and full of rage.  I didn’t know if I should be sad or angry.  The next day I told my parents what had happened. They tried to console me, but didn’t know how.  I think my mother was secretly glad it was over.  
Later that day, my father came up to me and asked me to walk with him.  He put his arm around me and started to talk.  It took me by surprise.  First he asked me if I knew that he was married before.  I did and I acknowledged knowing my half brother Norman, who was much older.  We rarely saw Normy.  My mother didn’t get along with him.  Then he asked me if I knew anything about that relationship.  I knew that she had become pregnant at the end of High School and being a good Catholic boy, they got married.  
“What you don’t know is how that relationship ended.  I came home early from work one night, and I found my wife in bed with another man.  I was furious.  I did what I thought I should do and went up to the farm to get the shotgun.  It was a double barreled shot gun and I figured one barrel for each of them.  I was loading it up, when my father walked in, your Grandfather.  He looked at me and asked me what I thought I was doing, and I told him.  He got this stern look on his face, was really quiet looking at me for a few seconds.  Then he told me to put the gun away, I was worth more than either of them.”   
I was shocked to hear his story.  Then he looked me in the eye and said, "The same goes for you, your worth more than both of them combined.  Don’t you forget it."  He said no more and walked away.  This was my father's lesson on revenge.  

He never knew how important and ironic it was that this was one of the few lessons he gave me.  Six years later, when my mother was murdered, my soul cried for justice.  However, my father’s words kept coming back to me.  Eventually, I found peace.  I turned my desire for revenge over to the universe, believing in Karma and knowing that the Gods punish much better than I ever would.  Besides, I was worth more than that.  

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