Next step: Should I write a book about my father and how he affected my life?
September 04, 2011
As a newly-minted 65-year-old baby-boomer, I'm trying to winnow down the list of things that I want to do for the remainder of my life. The sands in my personal hour glass are moving pretty fast and I need to be clear about what I want to do.
I've lived a lot of life and along the way I've been blessed by God tremendously. The list of things I have to be thankful for would be long. I could probably do an "A to Z" list and find something with which to fill-in every letter.
But one thing has bugged, vexed or haunted me all my life. That's my father. He deserted me and my mom back when I was 18-months-old by vanishing. He never wrote, never called, never did anything to support or contact us. There was a black hole in my life that was never filled in, even partially, until this past week.
That's when a half-nephew, I never knew I had read a post I wrote on this blog about my father. He had been on a long-time search for facts about his grandfather, my father. He Googled by dad's name and ran into my Father's Day missive to my dad. He emailed me, asked me to call him which gave me a chance to connect with a part of my family that I never knew.
What an amazing experience. During my very intense childhood, I grew a vision in my mind about my father's side of the family. From the time of being a small-boy, I thought of them as knuckle-dragging troglodytes who had no values and who left a trail of destruction wherever they went.
That changed this past week. They are real people. They have lived honorable lives and have built loving families. I'm uncertain about the future of our relationship, but I've been given important pieces of my life puzzle. I understand more. I don't come from the social misfits that I thought were the relatives on my dad's side.
What do I do with this all?
I've learned a lot from this life experience. Can anybody else gain from my story? A big chunk of my personal identity was tied into what my father did. My view about life and people was affected by how my mother had to struggle. From a young age, I was always very protective of her and hurt when she hurt. Many people treated her poorly, tried to take advantage of her which made her struggles sometimes seem impossible.
What about single-moms today? What about their children who have been set-aside by their dads?
How can they be helped? Government program? The church? Individuals who care?
I have a lifetime of insights, things that I have learned.
Is it better to share and hope somebody can learn from your story or is it better to take a pencil with a big eraser and rub those memories from your life?
Maybe it's time to write this down. First on this blog and then in a book. Kindle single? Maybe.