Since this is my 2,000th post, it behooves me to make it spectacular. The problem lies in how to do that.
I have written over so many topics on this blog. In fact, back on my 1000th post, I covered some of them and what great 1000th post topics they would be before going with the cheap "100 mph toilet" joke.
The truth is, though, that I have written everything from critics of popular writing to social issues to things that hit close to home, losing loved ones and gaining new friends to things I personally found epically hilarious.
And on the occasion of my 2000th post, a few things are really on my heart.
One would be my uncle Ken. Named for my Grandpa, sharing a name with one of my brothers, former member of the same singing group as Dad, Pam, Don, Greg, mom and several others, organizer of many extended family functions, and now man going through what appears to be terminal cancer.
He was sent home because he was not able to take the second chemotherapy treatment. I grieve for him, his wife, and his three daughters. I grieve for those of us who know and love him.
The thing is, I also want to commentate on his relationship with my Dad, my relationship with my Dad, and my relationship with my first wife.
There were some events in the early 80s that threatened to force a rift between the brothers. The events were deeply wounding, devastating to many people, and had long-lasting, harmful results.
I was young enough to not "get" the whole story and old enough to form an opinion about what was happening.
There were lots of things going on from many quarters, not just Dad and Ken but Moke, Frank, Dennis, Oscar, and people from outside the area who had no business getting involved but did and did great damage to their everlasting dishonor.
Be that as it may, I do not know or care if there was ever a consensus between Dad and Ken on who was at fault. I do know that after several years, a financial endeavor was shared between them where Ken deliberately took most of the risk and Dad got more than his share of the benefit.
Ostensibly it was because Dad lived in the town the rental was in...one undercurrent being, it helped finance Dad continuing to preach.
The thing about it is...and I know this from first-hand conversations with Dad, there was no grudge held, no animosity retained. What happened was over and done with, grieved for, but let go. They followed the Scriptural admonitions of Ephesians 4:26, for one, and other passages about holding grudges.
The short version: When my first wife's brother and sister were orphaned, I suggested to her we take them in. She agreed. She demanded they pay some rent. I argued against it at first but eventually, to my regret to this day, acquiesced.
The younger brother and sister both did me a lot of dirt. What they did pales in comparison to what she did...multiple affairs, repeatedly claiming to have gotten pregnant via those affairs, then claiming to mis-carry and turning to me for comfort...then claiming to have never been pregnant.
I would not argue I was perfect in the marriage...but I never did anything that remotely approached that level.
Be that as it may, those events ended many years ago.
But the effects linger. They affect, wanted or not, the way I interact with the Goose. They affect the way I interact with my co-workers/employer. They affect the way I view the world.
Linking the two. I said a few things were on my mind. One would be how I have reacted to that.
Despite my best efforts from time to time my first wife crosses my mind. And it seldom fails that when they do, there are elements of anger, bitterness, resentment...yes, sometimes borderline hatred.
I never fail to regret that and as soon as I realize where my head is at, I try to redirect it towards more pure thoughts that do NOT in fact include any of those elements.
I want very much to attain to the Scriptural tenets of forgiveness found in Matthew 6, for example.
And that is certainly an element of my life that I work on often with a marked lack of success.
Which brings me back to Dad and Ken.
I want to more resemble the thought process they have exemplified, that of holding forgiveness regardless of whether it was requested or deserved. After all, looking at my life, one day I will stand before God and rely on His forgiving me regardless of it being "earned" (impossible) or not.
And if I cannot find ways to forgive those who have wronged me...why would I expect Him to forgive me?
So there you have it...the 2000th post is me looking at my life, identifying an area of weakness and promising to work on it harder than ever.
What I wanted to say - Dear Tootie, You are no longer suffering, and for that I am grateful. I've gone through so many feelings since you left this world Saturday. Grief, relief...
1 month ago