All around us there are sweet sentiments about the good things fathers do for their families. And hidden is the other side of things, that some Dads weren’t very good at the job. It creates a lot of pain and resentment, and some adult children carry that pain around with them seemingly forever. It need not be that way.
Forgiveness is a choice, a matter of decision. It can be a very private matter, within the heart, or it can be discussed with others close to us. Either way, too few of us seem to appreciate how powerful a force forgiveness can be in our lives. My husband Mikol, the psychologist, knows a lot about forgiveness and he has taught me a lot. His father, who passed a few years ago, never did seem to understand his only son. The apparent lack of enthusiasm for my husband’s accomplishments from his father was a sad thing, yet Mikol readily forgave his father as time passed and their relationship was peaceful to the end.
As our dads age they may need us more. We may be called upon to help them, care for them, attend to their needs in a way we never had to do before. Aging parents and aging dads change our perspective. They could need help both physically and financially if they outlive their assets. It happens. We see that they are who we could be too, a few years down the road. When you have never forgiven your father for past transgressions, it makes it very hard to be there as dad gets frail and vulnerable.
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