Saturday, March 23, 2013

40 Days of Gratefulness - Day 34

Whew, what a day. My office mate left for a new job yesterday. We knew it was coming so I don't know why we're all walking around the office like we don't know what hit us. I've known the gentleman for almost 2 years. He actually replaced a very good friend of mine who used to work with me. I affectionately called the new guy 'splenda' as he was a substitute for the original guy. Get it? I know, chalk that up to the 3rd grader (Day 9) in me. What's interesting is that both gentlemen were pretty, easy going guys but I think what sticks out most about them is that both were great dads.

Now, I'm not sure if their wives would say that ;-) all the time b/c they both are probably hardheaded and forgetful but I admire how they were both intentional about making a way or plan for their families. While they both are Christians, the original guy and I have shared our life experiences with respect to our faith. But working with both of them has helped me understand a little more about what a good father desires for his family and what that means. In fact, it just dawned on me that almost the entire time I've worked for this project, I've worked almost exclusively with men. Interestingly enough, the ones that I have befriended, meaning we actually keep in touch, are great dads as well.

Now, I have talked at length with these gentlemen about being a good dad; some of them had great dads and some of them didn’t but each recognized the important of their role with respect to their families, to provide and protect. That reminds me of a sermon I once heard, it challenged single women to look for 3 things in potential husbands. He must make provisions (meaning work), he must protect his family and he must empower you to become a better woman. If memory, serves me correctly that was a Good Friday sermon. 

I personally didn’t know anything about a father protecting or making provisions as my father wasn’t around. I have been fortunate or rather blessed to have friends, both Day 7 and Day 8, who dads were around. Between my friends’ dads and my grandfather, I had a pretty good model of how a dad should be, it just wasn’t my specific experience. It just so happens (or did it because there are no coincidences) that I just left a daddy issue at the altar. I know, me broken – pullease, I’m emotionally, spiritually, healthy ... most of the time ;-).  Actually, my roomie (Day 23) mentioned in a note that she prayed I would get over my daddy issue. What issue? What was she talking about, I never talked to her about my loser dad. Needless to say through some introspection and a little prayer, I gained a lot of perspective.

My father died in 1984, when I was 15 and I remember being angry at the time that I didn’t get a chance to give him a piece of my mind. He passed when I was in high school and not-winnish, loser-like or not, my mother would have never allowed me to be outright disrespectful. I know that’s a classic textbook case, right? Well, to heal this daddy wound, I would have to do some work. My work ended with me writing a list of qualities my father possessed and why they were loser-like. It was cathartic. I’m not an angry sista’, never have been – that’s just not who I am. But it did help me recognize some behaviors. 

One, you absolutely cannot stand me up – to me that’s like waiting in line at Walmart. Meaning if I have to wait too long in line at Walmart, I’m probably going to Target. You get the picture. My issue also looked like me being a little unreasonable about my tolerance for honesty. Honesty, to me, is telling me the entire story not bits and pieces, which I have to assemble. If I have to assemble the truth or half-truths, for an omission is a lie by my definition, chances are I was heading back down to Target. That was pretty much it. Now, that is not just reserved for men – I expect honesty from my ‘homegirls’ too. And they expect it from me as well. The gist is that if someone triggered either one of these red flags, you can bet that I was going to be moving on. No discussion was required. I now recognize this extreme behavior was largely surrounding a daddy issue as he was the first person to stand me up or tell me a half-truth. But the difference is that now I recognize the 'trigger,' I get to choose how to respond and not react. The next thing I discovered, was that I was going to have to forgive him for not being everything my family deserved.

Now, back to the letter, it helped me gain invaluable perspective. By just capturing my thoughts and feelings on paper, it made me feel better. I’m not saying that he couldn’t have made better choices but marrying my mother suggested that he had a plan for his family at one time. I suspect he didn't have very good role models but who knows what could have happened, for my father didn't make it to his 40th birthday. This isn't to 'bring you down' it's only to help you recognize two things. First, I've had and still have examples of great dads throughout my life. Secondly, if you have a daddy issue, I'd suggest you get to writing a letter, it certainly helped me.

So on this Day 34 of 40 days of gratefulness, I’m grateful for great dads everywhere ... and I'm going to miss my office mate. #beblessed #40daysogratefulness

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing your heart... blessings to you beloved!