Please Forgive Me

I am at Peace.  My father is at Peace.  My father died a couple weeks ago.  I grew up without a father.  I only met him in person 4 times.

I was 10 when my mother drove us across Country from Michigan to California to visit him and meet him for the first time.

As a young girl who always wondered about her father, I was thrilled.  The next time I saw him I was 16, it was his parents’ 50th Wedding Anniversary.

He invited me out to California to visit him anytime.  I thought he was so cool. 

In all my years growing up though, he never wrote me, sent cards, answered the  letters I wrote to him.  The older I got, the more I made that mean something about him and something about me.

I began to form all kinds of negative feelings toward him.

The third time I saw him was a few years ago.  I attended an intensive weekend–a world renowned event called the Landmark Forum.

The Landmark Forum helped me see that things happen to us and we have our own interpretation about what happened.  Those interpretations aren’t necessarily what really happened!

After years of no communication, I simply thought he didn’t care about any of his children.

I thought he had no conscience, I thought he was a bad person. 

However, after finishing The Landmark Forum, I contacted my father and we created a new relationship.  We let go of the constraints of the past and started from nothing–it was so freeing.

I realized, with his help, that there are two sides to every story and the truth usually lies somewhere in between.  I learned a lot about my father in those few years.  I found lots of compassion for him.

Growing up he had gone to a total of 26 elementary schools.  TWENTY SIX!

His father had a job that kept relocating them.  Imagine how hard it would be to create lasting bonds with people.

He was young when he and my mother were together, he was still learning life and she and we were part of his learning.

He went on to have 3 more wives, and 2 more children in addition to the 5 he had with my mother.

In his last 22 years, he was married to Vicki.  She is an amazing woman and he raised her two kids from a very young age.  He confided in her everything about his life and she loved him deeply.  He was a great father for Linda and Michael and they loved and respected him all their lives.

Even so, he had so much regret and remorse over his past and he always shared with Vicki, the pain he carried with him.

Vicki understood him completely.  Just before he died, he was in a lot of pain the night before and kept waking Vicki and Linda.

Finally, come morning, he was calmer and he just kept telling them, “take my boots off”, “take my boots off.” 

They couldn’t figure out what he meant???

After my father died in Vicki’s arms, she realized what he had been referring to.

His very first child with my mom was Jay Ann.  She died of Leukemia at the age of 3. 

When he and my mom would bring her home from the hospital after getting a treatment, she would have extra energy and be full of fun and laughter.  She would go and slip her little feet into his big boots and run around.

He chased her and would say, “take my boots off”.  It was a joyful time for him…just to see her happy and full of life and energy.

My father was getting closer to that state of Pure, Positive, Energy that comes with passing.  He was happy and thrilled that he would be in that place with his first child Jay Ann.  The place is what we can all find glimpses of here, in this realm,  if we just try.

A place where there is no pain or guilt or judgment.  A place where there is only joy and vibrant energy.  A place, where if you learn to “let go” and forgive, you can be free.

I feel so fortunate to be able to say that I am at Peace with his passing.  I cleared my body of all the negativity that comes along with not being able to forgive.

Forgiveness is not something we give to the other person, it’s something we give to ourselves. 

Most importantly, I asked him to forgive me for all the judgments I made about him.

I came to know what compassion really is–the ability to see someone the way their Source sees them. Source=God=Infinite Intelligence.

My father was a good man.  He had so much going for him and I was able to see through all the veils I had in front of me regarding him and who he was.  We are all here doing the best we can and I feel fortunate to have been able to call him “Dad” later in life.


Published by naturegirltara

I love life. Life teaches. I love nature. Nature teaches. I never want to lessen the lesson. Let's journey together on this trail called life! I write this blog mostly to get the chatter out of my head! I've never really promoted it but a few people read the articles and find inspiration. It really is therapeutic, writing is like having a place to process the stuff that floats around on a regular basis! In the words of John Muir, the naturalist, this is how I feel: “Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.”

15 thoughts on “Please Forgive Me

  1. What a wonderful tribute to the most loving, kindest, sensitive man to ever walk this earth. He brought love, joy, and peace into my life; and for that I will be forever grateful. He was a wonderful father to my children and raised them to become responsible, honest, loving adults. He loved all of his children even though he was not able to be with them. He had eight babies, losing two daughters at very young ages. He talked to me for hours about each one of his children and the love he had for them (and the guilt for not being there for them). He never spoke ill of any of his ex-wifes and took full responsiblity for the failure of each marraige, and the pain it caused his children.

    I am so grateful that Tara got to spend time with Hal and see what a wonderful person he was….and why Michael, Linda, and I will always have him in our hearts as the most important man that ever entered our lives. His birthday is this Sat. 9/4. What a wonderful birthday present Tara has given him. Thank you with every ounce of my heart.

  2. Tara,
    Very touching and very inspiring to see the positive outcome of your choices. Sorry for your loss but happy for what you gained. xo

  3. I was brought to tears by this beautiful and somewhat sad story. I am the father of a 16 year old daughter who has decided to shut me out of her life due to the loud calling of the world.

  4. You are a woman who has gained exceptional wisdom and insight. It was a beautiful tribute, and a story well written and honestly told.

  5. Beautiful in every way. Thank you. I knew a lot of this, but learned more about you I didn’t know. My dear friend for so long. Thank you for being in my life. I love and appreciate you dearly.

  6. Tara, that was very beautifull. Thanks for sharing the lows and the highs. Once again I am humbled by the challenges that people have that we aren’t aware of till much later in life or at all. I am sorry for the crosses that you carried for so long, but then feel at peace knowing that you transcended beyond the hurt and shared a loving time with your dad.

    1. Thanks for taking the time to read Alan, I appreciate your words. It truly is amazing how easy it is to walk through it and into forgiveness. When we’re on the other side of it, it seems impossible but once we transcend it, wow–really amazing! I wish it for the world!

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