There aren’t any pictures for this – it’s just kind of a pour your heart out story…
To understand this, and me, a little better, you might want to read this.
I was about 16. My mom was still alive. We were standing in the kitchen, leaning on the avocado colored counter surrounded by orange and green wallpaper.
I don’t remember the situation that brought up the conversation but I do remember this. There was anger and bitterness – and it was directed toward my father.
I remember her holding her coffee cup and telling me between sips that I had to let go of it, I had to understand, he wasn’t such a bad guy.
The problem was that every time I let my guard down, came another one of his explosions of temper. Each time I tried to understand him he closed me out further. And the fact was … he was a “bad guy”.
I have one happy memory from my entire life with him. It was a 10 minute game of catch with a football. Everything else is neutral – or terrible.
And Love? There was never even the slightest evidence of it.
Fear? That was ever present.
When he was home I was in my bedroom.
When he left I’d emerge.
One of the worst sounds I could hear would be my name shouted from his lips from the other side of the house, followed by a “Get out here!” It was never good – not. one. time.
I answered my mom’s request that day, to understand my father, with this, “Listen, I hate only one person in my life. Just one. I think that’s pretty good.”
I disliked a lot of people
I hated one.
I had since I was 5.
I didn’t know Our Lord back then at all. Forgiveness for someone who didn’t deserve it was a concept not even on my radar.
I stood in my hate and thought it gave me strength.
Now I take you to about 7 years later.
When you live with a violent person you develop a sense of when the explosions are coming. It might be why I don’t hold on too tightly to joy, and why I always expect disaster just around the corner, never comfortable when situations and circumstances are improving.
Because every time I had some joy he removed it.
Disaster arrived more dependably than the mail.
And whenever I got comfortable – that’s when he’d strike.
And like an impending storm, you could sense it,
and you were always preparing yourself for it.
I never realized the connection until right this moment.
my brother was recovering from a sprained ankle. It didn’t stop us from wrestling on the floor. But then he put weight on the ankle just wrong – and was vocal about it.
My father was in the next room.
I knew what was coming.
This time I didn’t hide.
This time instead of waiting for the call I got up and began walking to meet him.
Because I knew he was on his way, and he’d be all quivering lips of rage and lightning angry eyes and fists clenched.
As I heard those familiar, heavy, furious footsteps coming closer, I was heading toward them. I could think only one thing, “Let’s finish this now!” as I clenched my own fists.
There is more, but I’ve kept you long enough already.
Forgiveness is where this is heading.
But first I need you to know the depth of the darkness
before the coming of the light.
Please come back for the rest.