Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Reflecting

This post will not be about running and will not contain any photos of beautiful single track trails or cute doggies.

This is about how I feel TODAY.


For the people that have followed me for a while, you know a little of the the history of me and my Dad. For those that haven't known me very long, this previous post (Single Track Junkie: "The Visit") from last year will explain a lot. I haven't seen him since last year, but we have talked on the phone on a semi-regular basis.

My Dad invited me to his house yesterday because his brother was visiting from Washington and his sister from Arizona. I agreed to go because it sounded important to him that I be there.

What I didn't know, before hand, was how important it would be to ME that I be there. The last picture in my head of my Dad, he is a 55 old man. He is turning 75 this year.


I wanted to be there early, before everyone arrived so he and I could have some alone time. As soon as he opened the door, I could see the tears in his eyes. He gave me a huge hug and held me for a while. He told me it was so good to see me. I truly believed him.


As we sat in the living room talking, I was looking over his shoulder at the shelves with framed pictures on them. The last picture he has of Sara is from preschool. There were no pictures of me, except the one I gave him last year when he was in the hospital. He has no wedding photos of me and Keith.


He pulled out an old box of pictures and wanted me to write on the back of them, what grade I was in. There were a ton of pictures in this box of my oldest brother's kids but again I noticed the lack of Sara pictures. All those years he missed out on seeing my daughter change and grow into a young lady. He truly has missed out on a lot. He realizes this. And so do I.
I know we both played equal parts in the time lost. He's not the same man he was 20 years ago, I'm not the same woman. We were both stubborn. We were both wrong. We have both suffered! It wasn't worth it.
On the drive home, I was thinking back to when Sara was 17 years old and her father brainwashed her into moving in with him for her last year of high school. After a year of pure hell prior to her actually moving, she only lasted 2-1/2 weeks before she moved back home. But, this devastated me beyond what anybody can ever imagine. It took me into the deepest, darkest hole I've ever been in.
I couldn't help but wonder if my Dad ever had feelings like that after he and I had our last argument on the phone. I hope not.
He gave me a birthday card (tomorrow is my birthday). The first one I have received from him in a long time. There was a very nice hand written note inside. After dinner he brought out a strawberry pie and they sang happy birthday to me. Every time I looked his way, he was just looking at me, smiling.
I'm a little sad today. I remember last year after seeing him in the hospital, I attempted to run the Diablo 25k. I had to turn around because my emotions got the best of me. It's good today that I can identify my sadness and deal with it immediately.

Thanks for listening.

Until later.............










20 comments:

Ewa said...

Relationships with out parents can get very complicated and sometimes it takes years to fix them. Some of us never manage that.
It is good to hear you are getting over whatever issues you had with your dad.
I never had a breaking out with my mom but we never have seen eye to eye. Now it is too late. She is still alive but has Alzheimer's so we cannot really communicate. Do I wish I tried before? I don't know. I cannot think of any time in our relationship when either of us was ready to listen.
I think being able to enjoy your dad's company is the best present ever.
Happy Birthday.

shellyrm aka jogging stroller mama said...

I, of course, don't know all the history and bad choices that have taken place between you and your father. I don't need to.
I can tell you that your post brings tears to my eyes. Your father is 75. I didn't have my father that long.
No matter what has happened in the past, leave it there. I would give nearly anything to have more time with my father - who was not perfect but who along with my mother did more for me than any other person on this planet will ever.
The lost time is lost I hope that you don't lose any more.
Happy Birthday. Give yourself the best gift. The gift of forgiving what ever still lays between you and your father.

Kristi said...

My parents were divorced when I was young. For many reasons I won't go into, I didn't keep in touch with my father and the last time I saw him was at my brother's wedding, 8 years ago. We did the small talk of 'keeping in touch', but I never made any effort. Five years ago he was hit by a drunk driver and killed. And now I still have serious regrets about my lack of effort in mending our rift.

Not that I'm saying the situations are the same at all....but I'm glad that *you're* glad to be spending time with your dad. People do change and it's good that you both seem to be trying.

And HAPPY BIRTHDAY tomorrow! :)

Katie A. said...

Sending you a big hug! You are a strong lady, and I hope you can hold on to this! Happy Birthday a little early :)

Aka Alice said...

Oh JoLynn, I am so happy for you. I think it just shows what an amazing woman you are that you decided to let go of the past and get to know your dad in the present and for the future.

A big hug and happy birthday to you, although I suspect you already received your biggest gift, but you should do some sugar anyway :-)

Judi said...

you are lucky he WANTS to see you. my Dad doesn't even WANT anything to do with me. enjoy him girlie.

Marci said...

Aw Jolynn **hugs** this post brought tears to my eyes, I am glad you and your dad are moving forward. My relationship with my dad wasn't always the best, and now with him sick, I realize that time is precious, and whatever the differences were before, it is worth it to work past them. Family and friends are everything!!

Looney said...

Happy Birthday! And it is always great to hear of families getting reconciled.

Maryland Girl aka Michelle said...

I am so glad you had a good visit. I'm teary! It is good to focus on the now and move forward. We can't change the past only learn from it.

I hope that you have an absolutely wonderful Birthday!

Mel-2nd Chances said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!! :D

Reading this, I can't decide if this is a reflection of my own relationship with my dad, or a look forward of what will come. My dad's focus is on money and women... I just don't know if he'll realize the time he's losing with my son, or if he realizes the time lost with my brother and I. I guess I can only hope. I'm happy for you though, sounds like it was a powerful moment in time for you both. I now need to get a kleenex :) Hope you're having a wonderful day. ((hugs))

Drs. Cynthia and David said...

It's so good to hear that the ice continues to melt. That's good progress I think. It's natural to grieve for the lost time, and experiences you can now never completely share. Plus you're recognizing that he won't be with you forever. But at least some of that sadness is balanced with joy and reconciliation now.

And Happy Birthday!

Cynthia

leslie said...

Your post help make my sad heart happy.

leslie said...

Can you email me, JoLynn? I'm lgandy at starstream dot net.

RunningLaur said...

What a powerful experience. I'm glad that your trip was a positive one again, and it seems that it was meant to be to be able to share this time.

Mel -Tall Mom on the Run said...

This post makes me hurt for you...

Happy Birthday...

Sorry I have been MIA my job is nutso

Glenn Jones said...

Ugh. My heart goes out to you. I have no way of understanding how you fee - but it must be tough. Hopefully this is a step in the right direction....

Stuart said...

Sounds like a real breakthrough and the start of real bridge building!

Happy Birthday!

雅鈴 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Tricia said...

happy to hear youve reconciled with your daddy, what a lovely birthday present.

Lisa said...

JoLynn, you are actually very fortunate to be able to make amends with your Dad. You can't undo or redo what has already occurred, but you can affect what happens from this point forward.