“Dad, please help me stop looking for you and your love in the men in my life.”
It was my prayer as I lighted a candle on my altar after learning from Mom that Dad passed on.
It was a Thursday evening, four years ago.
I was getting ready to head out to the city in San Francisco for my regular Thursday night of salsa dancing at Cocomo.
A part of me died with him. There was sadness, of course, as any separation brings with it a level of sadness.
However, I was relieved. I felt a heavy burden lift off of my chest.
And I still proceeded to the city, and I danced like I hadn’t danced in a long time. I danced for my father. I celebrated his transition!
It wasn’t an evening of mourning. It was a time of liberation! To be free from the bondage. And to know that at the soul level, when the veil has thinned, our souls know and remember what our story is all about.
My last vision of my father
I could only imagine what it felt like for Dad to see me mirroring back to him what he had been doing to Mom all along — me, the only child who chose to be with him and “side” with him, after he left behind Mom and my siblings, in order for him to be with another woman and start another family — and to know and to see me carrying a relationship with a very much married man.
Just like him.
Just like what he had been doing to Mom all along.
And it was the cause, rightly or wrongly, of his wrath and horrific act on that fateful evening of the 29th of December 1994.
“Please, just don’t hit me.”
It was all I could mutter to myself. It was all I could pray for.
The place was ransacked. Damaged furniture. Broken pieces all over the floor. Practically nothing functional or of use was left.
Dad was coming out of my bedroom with a hammer held in his right hand. Every cell in his body was seething with rage.
I could understand why he was furious. I could understand Dad’s intense anger. Yet, I felt that he had no right to break into my place and to break whatever suited his fancy.
However, it was the only way he knew how. The only way he knew how to express his anger.
Ahhh…Dad and his infamous temper. One can’t seem to be without the other.
I couldn’t erase and have no intention of erasing from my memory that vision of my father. My last encounter and vision of him.
Yet, I have reprogrammed my memory to see beyond that vision. To hold only compassion for him, for where he was coming from. To understand the rage.
And I could also only imagine the guilt that Dad was carrying for all the times that he rejected me and my desire to reconnect with him years later — despite that fateful December 29, 1994 evening.
However, even if I reached out countless times and he rejected my efforts, my love for him didn’t go away.
I wanted to see him to tell him that I had forgiven him. I know how disturbing it is to know when you wronged someone and not acknowledge that. To not be able to properly or sincerely ask for forgiveness or make amends. To not know if you’ve been forgiven.
I also wanted to see him to ask for my forgiveness for all the times that I disappointed him.
Yet, he didn’t want to see me. He wasn’t ready. I may have been, but Dad wasn’t.
“But he’s your father. If I were you, I wouldn’t stop reaching out,” a well-intentioned close friend insisted.
My father though was clearly making his choice. And I could only respect that. And I did. I honored and respected his decision while I continued praying for him and his healing. Our healing.
I had forgiven Dad long before his passing on. For all the abuse and lack of respect that I experienced — in whatever shape and form, at whatever level and to whatever degree. Be it during my childhood or even way into my adult years.
I had forgiven him even before he knew he needed to be forgiven, even before he asked. Or even if he didn’t or wouldn’t or couldn’t.
And I wanted one thing and only one thing for him – Peace.
Dad’s last moments
I was told that during Dad’s dying moments, he was looking for and uttering out the names of my brother and an aunt, Dad’s sister. I felt so happy for Dad and my brother.
It must have been so burdensome for a father to not see his only son for almost two decades — and to harbor all the resentments, anger, and frustration for most of his life. My father and brother are so alike — temper and all. They just couldn’t stand each other.
And I could only imagine the guilt that Dad was carrying for choosing not to visit my brother — or even make a phone call — even after he was told that my brother was in a state of comatose, and we were all clueless whether or not my brother was going to pull through and come out of it.
Yet, when I learned that Dad was calling out the names of my brother and my aunt, admittedly, part of me felt jealous.
What about me?
My little Nadine felt dismissed. Again.
My little Nadine once again felt that she didn’t matter. She felt so unloved. Again.
And I’m so thankful for all the inner child work that I’ve done over the years. I’m so thankful that I’ve learned how to reparent my hurting little Nadine.
I acknowledged the disappointment. I honored my experience.
Doing otherwise would only have deepened the wound. And I allowed the emotion, not to get the better of me, but to simply flow through me.
I held on to my inner knowing that Dad did love me. Perhaps not in the way that I wanted, but in the way that he knew how.
And I reminded myself that despite all the pain, Dad did the best he could. We all are doing the best we can. All the hurts are simply at the personality level because at the soul level, there really is no room for anything other than love.
And it is because of this love that we’re merely fulfilling the promise that we made to each other prior to our incarnation. Our souls agreed to portray the roles that we played in this lifetime in order to teach ourselves and learn the lessons. To allow our souls to grow and to evolve. Our souls chose and agreed to the soul contract and spiritual agreement — all because of our love for one another.
Dad and I had fulfilled our spiritual agreement. Dad simply portrayed the role to which our souls both agreed — all because of our love for each other.
And that’s what truly matters.
Related post – Chiron Return: A return to my family and childhood wounding
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