This is personal: Forgiveness and my Father……

So “Father’s Day”  just passed, and since my father lives in Jamaica, I called him long distance to say, “Happy Father’s Day,” but unfortunately his phone was out of the service area. Maybe he was travelling to his other home land, Cuba, as my father is of both Jamaican/Cuban descent. My father and I have always maintained contact no matter where he is. I tried my best to reach him, I even called in the evening time, I wanted to make sure he heard my voice, and knew that I acknowledged him and appreciate him being my father. To be honest,  yesterday was my first time in my life I actually called my father for “Father’s Day.”

When I was a child, my father was in and out of my life. There were times he’d be gone for long periods and there was never an explanation given by my mother.  I grew accustomed to it, along with my five siblings. My mother did not speak a bad word about my father, ever, nothing was ever said, but I observed and witnessed many things that helped me understand that even though he loved me, we were not his first priority. I was unable to express my feelings to my father when he was around,  I was very young and also shy, but I was attentive to his words and actions. I always remembered the lessons he taught me, and applied them to my life. Every single time he took me aside and spoke to me about anything, I remembered the moral of the story. I took his words to heart&soul, and knew he was telling me for a reason, to help shape my moral code and inner strength. He even told me about his downfalls, pain and weaknesses, and told me NOT to be like him, because I was “strong.”

Dad made a lot of mistakes, got caught up with the law on numerous occasions which eventually landed him in prison for years. After his prison sentence was over, he was deported back to Jamaica. There were numerous events that lead up to this, and of course, we were affected the most by it in drastic ways, but I will share those stories in another blog.

After mom passed away in 2011, I knew my father was deeply hurt. He and my mother knew each other since they were children. It is said that my parents were “soul mates,” and they had a friendship that was never marred by the ups&downs  in their relationship. I admired my mother for being able to forgive my father and maintain a civil relationship with him. My mother lead by example, and taught me that I can communicate with my father even if he doesn’t always give me what I expect in return. She encouraged me to have a relationship with my father regardless of the circumstances, so after she died, I made a point of telling my father that he should focus on changing and forgiving himself for his mistakes, so he can move forward in his life and heal. He thanked me when I said this to him, and told me I helped him feel “better.” I told him, “Dad, when I was little I ALWAYS listened to you, your advice, your lessons…..and now I just want you to listen to me.” I  am proud of myself for having an affect on my father that will help him in life. He is more open and comfortable talking with me, as an adult.  I am planning to travel to see him for the first time in person in 26 years, and he is waiting patiently for my arrival. He’s excited to show me more about my other side, my Cuban heritage, and I’m excited too.

Forgiving my father has helped me grow as a woman and I recommend if your father is available, and receptive to you, have a conversation with him. You never know how much it will mean to him. But even if he doesn’t change, it will change YOU…..for the better.

Love&Respect, ~Dawn Lovely    Follow me @ : https://twitter.com/iamdawnlovely Subscribe to Blog and it will be sent to your email, click on Follow button.

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