off-topic - family illness


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mek42
April 3, 2007, 01:58 AM
I recently found out that my estranged father went into the hospital. They think he'll be leaving eventually but it is a non-trivial issue and he doesn't take good care of himself regarding health and diet. We've been able to have occasional short civil conversations on topics such as woodworking during the past year. This is major progress.

This is happening during an already rough time of my life and I was just wondering if I might get some high road type comments on dealing with things.

Thank you.

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bclark1
April 3, 2007, 03:00 AM
Hang in there man, that's all. I don't know enough about the situation to really be of great help, and I probably wouldn't claim to be wise enough to butt in if I did. You're good for making the progress you mentioned already. For you to be there for someone who wasn't always there for you, especially during a tough time in your life, is very noble. Just stay optimistic and keep putting one foot in front of the other, best of luck.

DWARREN123
April 3, 2007, 03:29 AM
Prayer, friends and just talking with someone will help. Take it easy and go day to day.

dfaugh
April 3, 2007, 08:11 AM
Not sure how you became estranged....But, make peace while you can. While I was close to my dad, and we knew he was leaving us, I still feel badly that I left the hospital the night he died (it was my birthday the next day), never got in one last "I love you.".

TonyB
April 3, 2007, 08:51 AM
The hardest kind of love ,is unconditional.You can't control whether or not he takes care of himself,but you can accept him anyway.It may be up to you to make the 1st move.Forgivness that we extend to others is more for us than them.Families have issues and get estranged for all kinds of reasons,some very valid,some pretty stupid.It's up to you to at least try and make peace.Before it's too late.
My Mother died before I got a chance to say alot that I wanted to(and we had a great relationship).

308win
April 3, 2007, 09:05 AM
Unconditional forgiveness is difficult. I suspect that if you don't make the attempt to reconcile you will feel an emptiness the rest of your life.

Mr White
April 3, 2007, 11:32 AM
Don't know your situation with your father, but whatever it is, swallow your pride, apologize, forgive, do whatever you have to do to patch things up with him while you can. Use this difficult time as an opportunity to start the process.

Admint past mistakes, forgive past wrongs. Do whatever it takes to remove that word 'estranged' from between you and your father. Someday he won't make it out of the hospital and then it'll be too late and you'll have that regret to live with forever.

My best friend in college went down that road, not making amends when he had the chance. After his father died suddenly, I watched it tear him apart inside for 2 years.

Don't make that mistake!

Run&Shoot
April 3, 2007, 11:58 AM
I agree that this is the time to make peace with him, yourself and God in whatever manner you can. I think there are some situations where forgiveness may be difficult if he is unresponsive. Such as abuse in the family, or worse.

If the estrangement is just a matter of personality conflict, or past arguments (choice of job, wife, location to live, education or lack of, controlling attitude, etc.) then, yes, forgive him unconditionally regardless of his attitude. Do not part with any ill feeling and try to focus on the good that was between you.

My Dad is terminally ill with Parkinsons and we went through some of this and it is a huge relief to have resolved all past issues and be able to just be with him and know that we will part in peace and as father and son. He really surprised me by responding favorably to our offering to forgive and reconcile. He had always been stubborn, but in these last months chose also to let the past hurts be washed away and instead forge a renewed bond with us.

However, if the estrangement is due to something truly evil like abuse of yourself, a sibling or mother then I am not sure I would be able to forgive him if he was unrepentant. BUT, we should at least be at peace with the situation within our own heart and with God. That is, give him an opportunity to do the right ting, leave the door open to reconciliation. If he refuses, then that is his choice and problem. One of the hardest things in the world is for a child (even adult child) to severe ties with a mother or father. Sometimes tough love is necessary and the only option left.

Whatever you do, make sure that you have done whatever you need to to feel that you have done all that you can to have the best relationship with him. You won't have another chance. get to where you are at peace that you have done all that you can to part on good terms if possible. This is not the time to keep track of "fairness" or "did I even the score". Rather, "Did I let go of all the past burdens and do as much as I can to have a good final relationship, regardless of how he responds?"

Sylvan-Forge
April 3, 2007, 01:45 PM
Not really sure why I felt compelled to share this book excerpt.
Maybe 'cause your from New York. I dunno.
I wish you the best in your times of adversity.
Forgiveness is liberation.
God bless you and yours.


Nothing is random, nor will anything ever be, whether a long string of perfectly blue days that begin and end in golden dimness, the most seemingly chaotic political acts, the rise of a great city, the crystalline structure of a gem that has never seen the light, the distribution of fortune, what time the milkman gets up, the position of the electron, or the occurence of one astonishingly frigid winter after another. Even electrons, supposedly the paragons of unpredictability, are tame and obsequious little creatures that rush around at the speed of light, going precisely where they are supposed to go.
They make faint whistling sounds that when apprehended in varying combinations are as pleasent as the wind flying through a forest, and they do exactly as they are told. Of this, one can be certain.

And yet there is a wonderful anarchy, in that the milkman chooses when to rise, the rat picks the tunnel into which he will dive when the subway comes rushing the track from Borough Hall, and the snowflake will fall as it will. How can this be? If nothing is random, and everything is predetermined, how can there be free will? The answer to that is simple. Nothing is predetermined; It is determined, or was determined, or will be determined. No matter, it all happened at once, in less than an instant, and time was invented because we cannot comprehend in one glance the enormous and detailed canvas that we have been given-so we track it, in linear fashion, piece by piece. Time, however, can easily be overcome; not by chasing the light, but by standing back far enough to see it all at once.

The universe is still and complete. Everything that ever was, is; everything that ever will be, is-and so on, in all possible combinations. Though in perceiving it we imagine that it is in motion, and unfinished, it is quite finished and quite astonishingly beautiful. In the end, or, rather, as things really are, any event, no matter how small, is intimately and sensibly tied to all others. All rivers run full to the sea; those who are apart are brought together; the lost ones redeemed; the dead come back to life; the perfectly blue days that have begun and ended in golden dimness continue, immobile and accessible; and, when all is perceived in such a way as to obviate time, justice becomes apparent. Not as something that will be, but as something that is.

--Mark Helprin, Winter's Tale

BigSoundRacing
April 3, 2007, 02:36 PM
Lead by example. As in communicate and donít let him push your buttons, as well as donít push his buttons. Rise above the situations of the past.

I live by a simple rule Ė If I donít have something positive or constructive to say then I keep my mouth shut, eventually Iím getting really good at pointing out things in way that puts a smile on every ones face.

Be safe, BSR

mek42
April 3, 2007, 10:13 PM
Well, there are legitimate grievances. However, I have been making an effort in trying to interact with him using the same respect and courtesy I would extend to any Joe, Dick or Bob off the street. I don't know that there will ever be what most people seem to think of as a father - son relationship, nor do I know if I even want such. Recently though, my own code of honor kind of slapped me in the face and said that basic common courtesy needs to be extended.

As far as forgiveness, I'm close but not there yet - the debts have been moved into the "Ain't never gonna see this again" section of the accounting book, but not yet removed from the rolls entirely.

Progress is happening.

I've been told that he should be released to go home tomorrow sometime.

Thank you for all of the encouragement and support.

To bring this on topic slightly, I will let you all know that squeaking out another personal best at bullseye league tonight (.22, indoor, 264 / 300) has helped to alleviate some of the stress I was under.

Again, thanks - people could do worse than coming here to look for a model of how to be respectful of others.

22LongRifle
April 3, 2007, 10:35 PM
mek

My father pasted away last July. We didn't talk for the last ten years of his life. He was an alcoholic. He came over drunk one day ten years ago and raised his hand towards my toddler daughter for "messing" with his smokes. I escorted him out of my house and threw him in his truck. My two sisters and me was regularly beaten growing up. I swore he would never lay a hand on my children. I didn't see him for eight years. I caught him a couple of time in public asking him to come and see his granddaughter's play softball or compete in a cheerleading squad, but he kindly said no and walked away from them and me. I tried two more times, he only said no thank you. I did all I could do, some folks don't want to change or move forward. He past away not even seeing him youngest grandson.

I did all I know what to do to try and move on. But some folks can't. My heart and mind are clear. I don't try and second guess myself, should I have done this or that. I've been to preachers and counselors, all have said the same thing, it takes two to work out a problem.

Feel free to PM or e-amil me at jrh_cdh1993@mchsi.com
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