My Turn to Forgive

Growing up I knew was given the chance to know my father. He and my mom went seperate ways before I was born. Although he knew about me, he never knew me. When I was in my early teens I had finally met my father. He decided to move with us and become a family. Due to the horrible childhood that he and his sister had, he didn't know how to give love and accept love. The unconditional kind of love.

He came and went so many times throughout my childhood and into my young adult years that I finally grew to resent him and all that he did. I didn't feel loved, wanted, and accepted. Then came the time when he stopped coming around.

After years of not knowing where he was or how he was doing, he called. I was a senior in high school at the time and had very mixed feelings about the role that he wanted to play in my life. I thought that it was a bit to late for us to bond and be father/daughter. My last words to him were judgemental and very cold. I basically told him that i didn't want to have anything to do with him because of his way of life. You see, my father was a full blooded American Indian and he had the problem with drugs and alcohol that most of the American Indians seem to inherit. I basically shut him out. I condemned him for living his life the only way he was taught how to.

Needless to say, my father passed away shortly after that. I was saddened but yet not heartbroken. I had alot of anger and resentment inside. I didn't understand why he couldn't be the father that he was supose to be. I wanted a father like all my friends had. One that I could be proud of, one that I knew loved me, one that I knew cared, but mostly one that i wasn't ashamed of.

It wasn't until after the birth of my third child that I started getting this nagging feeling inside of myself. I could'nt quite grasp it. Then one day, It hit me and it hit hard. I found myself sitting on the floor of my kitchen crying and feeling this emptiness and guilt. The guilt was so intense that it was almost unbearable. I had finally realized something, here i was living with a man, the father of my children, and he was just like my father. The only difference was he was there for the children. I walked around with this weight on my shoulders and i couldn't understand my mood swings. I felt depressed, lonely, and mostly guilty.

Then one night after going to sleep I had a dream. It was no dream like any other that I had ever had. I felt this peace, warmth, unconditional love, and calmness that reached into my soul. Then I saw him. I saw my father. He looked different..... he looked young, healthy, and much happier but most of all, he looked at peace with himself and with his new life. He walked up to me and smiled. He grabbed my hand and I heard his voice say let's walk. He didn't talk, but I heard his words.

As we walked hand in hand, I found myself communicating with him without saying a word. I looked at him and said," Dad, I do love you. I always have and always will. I am so sorry for being so mean." He smiled and said, "My Darling Daughter, I know and I forgive you but most of all I love you too very much." Then I sarted to tell him how much i wished that he could see his grandkids and he said," I have and I do everyday." I couldn't believe it, I didn't know what else to say to him. I couldn't cry, I couldn't laugh, all I could feel was this instant relief. Then I woke up sitting on the side of my bed crying. From that day on the guilt, anger, resentment, sadness, and loneliness never came back.

I honestly believe that my father was my guardian angel sent to me from above to help me over come some hard times that would come later in my life. He has helped me....he has helped me to become a better parent, partner, and most of all a better person.