While this is unfortunate, there is much to learn from this and I would like to share them with you today… Before it’s too late. So allow me to share, a bit long, but read on.
First, a bit of a history shall we?
I grew up in a broken family. My parents separated sometime between 1989 to early 90’s. I guess I was too young then to remember exactly when. It happened gradually though. From my dad coming home a few times a week, to once a week, then only on special occasions or school activities.
As I grew older and my dad became physically distant, I found myself eventually okay with all this. And though I know, and say in my heart, that I love my dad… I also know that part of me has become rather indifferent.
Yes, I see him every now and then, but I am no longer a part of his daily life, nor was he in mine. You could say, the less I knew, the better. Things about him affected me less, simply because I didn’t know how he was, except from his occasional text messages in some nights. They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder; but in some cases, absence makes the heart forget.
Fast forward to more present times…
I now have a family of my own, and a bit older too; it also comes with the fact that my parents have become older as well. Eventually (though I pray not too soon, 40-50++ more years please) they will pass on. A sad fact nobody wants to talk about. But a sad reality that happens to everyone or every family. And the thought of losing my dad was something I never really pondered upon, as I simply thought it wouldn’t be of much difference anyway… Afterall, I’ve long gotten used to not having him around (physically).
Or so I thought.
Last December, we learned that my dad has Stage 4 Throat Cancer. As if it was not hard enough that I just started with my new job, and my mother-in-law was undergoing quadruple heart surgery, my dad’s condition was something I didn’t think I’d have to deal with at that time. But the news came. It happened.
And as I gradually learned of his condition, saw him in his state, hospital visits every now and then, celebrating Christmas and New Year with him in his hospital room but without him at home… My heart cried.
Yes, it ached. It bled. I thought it won’t, but it still did. And that’s why I want to share you these realizations today:
1. IT IS NOT AND WILL NOT BE OKAY.
No matter how distant you have become with family, if at least one point in your life you held someone dear, any bad news about that person will not be okay. That part of your heart, your memory where that love resides, will ache. You will face sudden realizations and regrets you didn’t think you’ll have but yes, oh yes, they will flood you. Beware.
2. RECONCILE WHILE THERE IS STILL TIME.
As if Sadness (from the movie Inside Out) touched a core memory, bits and pieces of my childhood memories resurfaced and I couldn’t help but realize that he is still my dad, and I DO LOVE HIM. I couldn’t help but look back and realize I never really got to spend quality time with him despite me all grown up and capable… We never got to eat out, watch a movie, stroll the mall or theme park. I never dated my dad. And I used to be the daddy’s girl.
People may say that’s a part of the choices he made, the life he chose to live. But I just couldn’t reconcile with that idea now. I was in a position to do something for him for the past 15 years, but I didn’t. And now we cannot do those stuff even if we wanted to. But he is still alive, and I can only thank God He gave me a chance to still spend time with my dad and do stuff for him, no matter how little. I couldn’t imagine how I would have coped if all of these realizations and feelings came at a time when it is too late and I can no longer be with him.
So if you have an estranged father, mother or family member, reconcile. Reach out. If not for them, do it for yourself. You will never want to face a lifetime of regret if you only realized how important someone is when it’s too late. Sometimes, they themselves don’t even know they did you wrong. Let go of the hurt. Forgive.
But this goes for people close to us as well. To the family who stayed. To them who are with you everyday. Their presence might be something you overlook or take for granted, heck, you might even spend days arguing or fighting them wishing they weren’t around… Probably because you never thought you could lose them one day. But you might, you would, you will. So tell them you love them today. Thank them. Hug them. Let them know they are still special.
3. GOD IS IN CONTROL.
A lot of things happened, a lot of things still happening. Sometimes I don’t even know how I can still manage to function. Sometimes I don’t even know how I can still manage to laugh, how I can still go on, how I can still live.
But I do.
Because you know what? I find strength in my God and take comfort in knowing that GOD IS IN CONTROL. Things could have been worse. Things may get worse. But the worst thing that could happen is to find yourself in the wrong side when all this is happening.
God doesn’t want His children to ache. But we are still in this world and troubles are inevitable. But I would rather be with Him who protects, Him who loves, Him who saves.
The worst thing that could happen is that you die. But I’d say, everybody does. So the worst is dying and not going to heaven because you never knew how to be with God while you were still alive.
So accept the Lord’s grace and salvation today. Because GOD LOVES YOU.
You don’t know how much you’re missing until you kneel down, with your family, in prayer. God can do wondrous things, if you let Him. So LET HIM IN.
As I close this post, I just want to say —
I love you daddy.
I love you mommy.
I love you Daddymer and Danamer.
I love you all.
BUT GOD LOVES US MORE.
You may be in a similar situation, or worse. But you are not alone. Do not allow yourself to be alone.
So again, forgive. Reconcile. Love. Be at peace.
With them who hurt or left you.
With them who are with you.
Hahaha. I don’t really know how to end this. I was just speaking out my (cluttered mind). But I hope you get the message and somehow you learned something today.
So lastly, let me share with you my favorite verse and the song that plays in our radio at this moment. 🙂
22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.