There were many times when my father would sit me down, and in his stern voice, speak to me about his observations of my behaviour and life in general. He’d emphasize his expectations and house-rules, and as I got older – he gave “unsolicited” guidance and advice.
And me, in my ever “infinite wisdom” would in a respectful and very direct way, inform him that he needs to understand that me sitting down and listening, does not necessarily mean that I am going take the advise given or guidance offered because I will always do my own thing. Then, to top it off, I’d still be stroppy enough to explain in no uncertain terms that if my own thing included me actioning the guidance and advise given by him, then it would still be me doing my own thing, because it’s by choice, my choice.
There’s been moments where disappointment were obvious, and to me, this was water off a ducks back.
I was a very very stubborn child in my own silent way. I got the most hidings growing up . Not for being the naughtiest child, but for being the most stubborn, always debating, questioning, reasoning and often with a “don’t give a fuck” attitude while that belt came raining down on me. I was the child that would stare you down with tears streaming down my face and tell you that your disappointment and anger is your problem, not mine. I’m living my life, not your life.
Of course as I grew older and the more I experienced people, the more I came to appreciate HIS infinite wisdom and life experiences. I even started seeking out that wisdom and guidance, he became the only person I would speak to when feeling most troubled.
Today I am really glad that we could speak with candour and that I wasn’t a submissive child when it came to behavioural expectations. I trusted myself enough to know that wherever my life may take me, I will always be true to myself and do what feels right to me (even if it turns out to be a fuck up, at least it would be my fuck up – no one elses) and own it with the fierce fire that burns within my soul.
I can with humility and gratitude say, that I am my father’s child – he is the match that will forever keep the fierce fire burning within my soul.
He was, and still is, the most spiritual person I know. I was raised in a very strict Christian family where church was life. I, however, due to reasons known to my dad, stopped going to church at the age of 17/18. What no one knows is that my father and I still continued to fiercely discuss the teachings he received on a regular basis.
His greatest gift to me was to NEVER pressurize me to go to church or to raise my child in the church (in the way I was raised). He accepted and appreciated that I am the mother of my child and that I am responsible for my own salvation.
My father understood that the OAC church was not a building, but a way of life. A way of being that did not require me to sit in a brick and mortar building. He had faith that my life and that of my child’s, would be a reflection of this – and that as sinners, we are all equal.
I think of my father all the time, his guidance, his life.