Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The sweet is sweeter

We were in NYC to christen Sam last week. The day before the ceremony, I found out my dad was in the hospital again. He fell and laid on his floor for 2 days before being found. He is underweight, dehydrated, has sores on his back, and a very swollen shoulder. He is also going through withdrawls from alcohol.

It is all the same as before. And all different somehow. I am angry that he is throwing his life away with both hands, when a very close friend of mine is going through a huge medical scare and would give anything for health. I am angry that he continues to hurt his children, or worse yet, drive them into a state of just not caring anymore. I am sad for him, that his life has shrunk to a bottle and a chair. I am sad that he is waiting to die, when he could live.

I was struck by the parallels between the two facets of my life- my new existence, and the one I left behind. Celebrating new life, faith, and joy...and leaving behind the pain and destruction my old life simmers in. There is absolutely no similarities to my new realtiy and my old, and for this I am so so grateful.

But I also have to remember that this is where I come from. This, for better or worse, created me. And I am the person I am today because I chose differently than my parents did. Who would I be without the family I was born into? Would I be as willing to love, to be compassionate, to give until it hurts? I don't think you can do those things unless you realize the great vacuum that happens when you don't recieve them. I've realized something in the past week- the only way to fill the void my parents created in me is to love MORE, to give MORE, and to be MORE than they were.

I also spent the week watching Mark with his parents. How they laugh, argue. How they love even without saying it aloud- through food, through actions, and through respect. I've seen how good parents give love to their children- by listening, by offering advice, and by doing for them without asking. I've watched my sister in law with her mother- how they cook together, every movement like a dance. They have created so many meals together that it is second nature for them. They call each other several times a day. They spend time together. They shop together.

I used to be so envious. I tried not to be, but watching Mark with his family was like a slap in the face. It hurt. But this time I had both of my babies with me, and I realized that even though I didn't have the abundance of love in my pervious life, I have it now, because I GIVE it. I create it. And one day, Lily and I will cook together. Sam and I will sit together and laugh. I will offer advice and they will roll their eyes. And it begins now, with my two little people. And it is sweet, so sweet, because of the bitterness that came before.

What comes, comes. I cannot make my father value life. I cannot make him give up alcohol and love me enough to live. I can't change his mind, and I cannot give him faith. The only thing I can do is go about my life, and love as I wish I was loved. I can call him and tell him I love him. And I can wait for what comes.