The Privileged Few – Happy Thanksgiving…

The World Population melted down.  100 Sampled individuals

80 would live in poverty
70 would be literate
50 would suffer hunger and malnutrition
1 would be dying
1 would be being born
1 would own a computer
1 would have a University degree

If you’ve never experienced the horror of war, the solitude of prison, the pain of torture and were not close to death from starvation, then are better off than 500 million people.

If you can go to your place of worship without fear that someone will assault or kill you, then you are luckier than 3 Billion people.

If you have a full fridge, clothes on your back, a roof over your head and a place to sleep, you are wealthier than 75% of the world’s population

If you currently have money in the bank, in your wallet and a few coins in your purse, you are one of the 8 privileged few amongst the 100 people in the world.

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Father’s Day

Fathers Day is hard. I’m used to ignoring it and ignoring my feelings about it. But not this year. This post is way late because for the past couple of weeks I flittered around the subject like a dragonfly over water, avoiding heavy water that could drag me down and cause me to drown.

I have many mixed and uncomfortable emotions about my father. Our relationship has been too close, too distant, too uneven, too silent, too codependent, too controlling, too bitter, too poignant. I cannot in my lifetime remember having a direct, heart-to-heart, mind-to-mind, loving conversation with him — one where he asked and listened, and I asked and listened.

Until a couple of years ago, my parents and I were estranged.
Before the estrangement, I desperately needed them and especially my father, to help explain the incredibly painful memories of early childhood abuse my mind was coughing up in therapy. I needed their input to help navigate these long repressed experiences and to heal. They could not give it, and I would accept nothing less. So began thirteen years of silence that ended when I reconnected to make peace with them.

Toward the close of those thirteen silent years, I weighed my past pain against the person I have grown to be. The character that makes me who I am is due in great measure to my mother’s and father’s highly responsible parenting. Acknowledging this does not diminish my early childhood abuse, pain, or my healing. It does help balance the burden of my experiences.

Faced with a default decision that would not let me see them until their funerals. I couldn’t do it. My father is 85 years old and although healthy, he’s old. My mother is 84 and is not in good health. I am conscious of the little time they both have left.

Letting go and moving on did not come easy to me. I had to choose faith over fear. My minister suggested I stop by for tea and, with that simple advice I breached a thirteen year old chasm. I figured if I could exchange peace with strangers in church on Sunday, I could do it with my parents.

Father’s Day is hard. I thought about buying a card. And then I bought a card with no message. Then I carried it around for a couple of days, past Father’s Day while I thought on what to write. I wanted to ask from the heart. And if he spoke I would listen.

Daddy,

A belated Happy Father’s day. I would love for you to write about what being my father is like and was like. What were your challenges, joys, frustrations? What would you never change? What would you do differently?

Hope you had a great day.

“Don’t be afraid. Just have faith.” (Mark 5:36)

Fear and faith are like side-by-side walk in closets. Every day, every moment life gives you a chance to choose which one to enter and which outfit to choose. Fear doesn’t have to be absent to choose faith. It’s actually the stimulus to faith.

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