Jesus said to his disciples:
“Whoever loves me will keep my word,
and my Father will love him,
and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him.
Whoever does not love me does not keep my words;
yet the word you hear is not mine
but that of the Father who sent me.
“I have told you this while I am with you.
The Advocate, the Holy Spirit,
whom the Father will send in my name,
will teach you everything
and remind you of all that I told you.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.
Not as the world gives do I give it to you.
Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.
You heard me tell you,
‘I am going away and I will come back to you.’
If you loved me,
you would rejoice that I am going to the Father;
for the Father is greater than I.
And now I have told you this before it happens,
so that when it happens you may believe.” Jn 14:23-29
This weekend has been full of very raw emotions for me. I have had many, many things come crashing in my direction, and sorting through it all has been nothing short of miraculous. I mean, it has put me into a real situation, everything that is going on. Thank God for my Wife, or I would have been really screwed up after all of this.
My life really was uprooted when I turned thirteen. That year, I moved back from Ft. Worth, Texas to Jacksonville. My mom and dad split, and I was going to have to stay with my aunt. Nothing wrong with this scenario, I was going to be with family, but to be honest, it was not ideal. I knew exactly why my parents were splitting. I understood why I would have to stay in one place, and my mom and brother were in another. Logically, it all made sense. Internally, it sucked. I learned at a young age to conceal the emotions that I had, so, no worries, I would go with the flow.
At that point, my father was scratched out of the picture. I wouldn’t hear from him, or really have a conversation with him until 2005, and even then, it was brief and had no substance. Yesterday, after all that time, I had lunch with my dad. What, I am going to say is probably going to sound as cold as it gets. Again, these emotions are like ripping off a band-aid to a wound that is only half healed. The entire situation caused by my family’s split is part of the root of my depression.
Twenty-three years of emotions were inside of me yesterday. This was not a prodigal son welcoming party. No, twenty-three years of my life had passed this man by, that is the emotion that I felt. God giving us free will is a blessing to most, but can be a curse to some. You see, I had conversations with my dad when I was young, damn near begging him to find some help with his alcoholism. In the end, he chose the bottle over me. It was his decision, not mine. He chose to miss all my accomplishments, my triumphs, my falls, my pains, me. That is correct, he had the free will to keep in touch, stay up with me, all of the things that a father could normally do.
I had lunch. No real meaningful conversation. I did not cry, I did not get upset, I did not do anything that would be considered mean. I made sure not to really talk about anything. My choice, not to give in too much. I had lunch, with a person who I do really know. I had lunch with the person whom I forgave a long time ago, for choosing a bottle over a lifetime of events. I forgave him, but I have not forgot the choice that he made. I pray he will stay sober, and be healthy, but I can not do much else.