I am reading the book my dad wrote, and what sticks out to me the most is the longevity and resilience of his faith. In a nutshell, the story is of his journey through divorce, heartache and the seeming loss of everything he cherished and laid his life on, into a nine year phase of self-reflection, regrowth and healing, and the eventual rejuvenation, regaining of self and finding at last a permanency of love and friendship – first through God and later in his wife.
Firstly, the story of my parent’s love and demise is captivating. Not necessarily in how it was written, but in the details of a relationship falling from “perfection” to absolute hell. I do not envy either of their pasts, but above that, I can’t imagine suffering through so much pain as elegantly as my dad did.
I can completely relate to his tales of anger and questioning God. “Why would you let this happen,” “How long am I supposed to go through this,” “Are you even there, or am I talking to myself?”. Facing what feels like never ending heartache would lead most to candidly talking to God. But, what is so unusual (and so unrelatable to me) is that after every fit of desperation, he came closer to God and walked tighter beside him. I mean, he was celibate for NINE YEARS. While begrudgingly, he still kept to his faith that there was reason for it, and he spent that time focusing on raising us, and helping single mothers, and running his business, and saving his money. He was sad at times, angry at other times, completely bewildered, but he didn’t break. He didn’t go online to find quick dates, rather he found his companionship through friends and his different relationships. He didn’t go out with women he knew he wouldn’t want to pursue seriously. He weathered the storm, focused on everything else, and found real inner peace and happiness.
I have never shown anyone or anything even half as much faith and dedication as my dad has shown his God. The God of my father is not the angry, vindictive, manipulated god of other Christians. This God, his God, has a plan, and a heart, and is empathetic, and is your best friend, and is sad that shit happens, and understands your anger, and still has good in store for you.
I would love to believe so fully in anything. I think I need to start by believing and having unwavering faith and dedication to myself. To be disciplined and rigorous for my own sake (everything comes back around to yourself eventually).
This winter I fell into a sticky darkness unlike any I’ve ever experienced before. I’m talking bouts with addiction, unhappiness with solitude and different consequences that come from neglecting to explore yourself. I have only been existing, and it’s been scary, because my habits had become so unhealthy that I almost thought I was actually lost forever. That I had lost all control over myself. And I had.
So, in digging myself out of this hole and back into the light, I hope I can exercise even the smallest amount of rigor and dedication my dad has been exhibiting his entire life.
I guess I see him differently now. I see myself in him, but I also admire him more now. I am weak where he is strong has meaning to it again.