Here is the thing… we could all sit around and rant about how our parents messed us up and blame them for all of our failures. For a period of time in my life, I did just that. Coming from a background that is less than squeaky clean, I found it much easier to point fingers.
A product of young parents I was the third to come in a matter of a few years. At the time of my birth, my mom was 21 and dad was 23. At a very young age, I embraced that I was a mistake and not something my parents had really wanted.
This wasn't a big deal. I knew they loved me and could live with how I came to live on this planet. By age two, my parents were going through a nasty divorce. My youngest sister was born when I was 14 and she was the 9th (yes, that's not a typo!) child to be born into this crazy family. There are five different moms and two different dads who contributed to this mix.
Growing up poor was okay, I didn't mind that so much. What took a toll on my life was the realization that my dad had never really taken responsibility for us. At 16, I watched my father go to jail for the first time (that I knew of). He is still in and out and it's all due to the inability to financially provide for his kids.
His debt to my mom is finally paid off, but I am 30 years old and have spent several of my hard earned dollars to bail him out so he can be there for my siblings. This means I essentially helped him pay my child support. Twisted right?
When I was 23 I took in one of my sisters and made sure she made it through high school as my dad clearly wasn't doing the job and her mom wasn't any better. Through that time I lost my relationship with my father and all respect that should naturally be given to parents.
For 3 years I didn't talk to him and blamed him for every mistake I ever made. I wasn't on a much better path and things needed to change. It all started with forgiveness and understanding. After several months of digging deeper I found the strength to accept my role in the life I was living. It wasn't all bad, but some things definitely needed to change.
During that time I began to view my dad through his eyes and came to realize that he did the best he could. I accepted his downfalls, embraced his good qualities and began to build a relationship with him again.
We are now closer than ever and my life has turned around in almost every single way. It all started with taking responsibility for my actions and knowing that none of it was actually his fault. There is success and happiness inside of us and its no one else's job to bring it out.
Father's Day is quickly approaching and I am excited to spend it with my dad. He has taught me a lot of things through his struggles and I am grateful to be able to call him my dad. I have decided that flowers are the perfect way to show him how close I keep him to my heart. I will need a reliable vendor to deliver them, someone like florist express the same day, as that will make it that much more special. Of course seeing my pretty face will be the real gift, but I figure something more tangible will bring light to the rest of his week as well.
It has taken us a long time to get here, but I wouldn't have it any other way. Our paths are our own. Once you realize that you will be better equipped to find the happiness that you never even knew existed. Remember, that you can't change your past, but you can make a better future.