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Friday, October 16, 2009

Thankful for My Father

I find that I always write a lot about my dad.  My journal is filled with pages on him and how much I worry about him and his well being.  I worry about his stability; being alone and drinking the way he does.  The more I worry, the more I ignore him, trying to convince myself that I can't worry anymore.  I know that there were times he thought the same of me.  He couldn't worry about me anymore based on the things I was doing and the bad decisions I was making.  It took losing him for me to realize what I was doing to myself...

I've picked up a lot of my dad's little quirks.  I find that I enjoy being quiet.  I enjoy having a quiet life and not talking to people if I don't have to.  I isolate myself when something goes wrong.  I find that I let myself down a lot, causing me to second guess my confidence.  Talking about feelings is very difficult for me.  Talking about anything except the allotted topics I have picked out in my mind is difficult.  Talking about what bothers me is beyond difficult.  I am my father's daughter...  I work until my body can't handle it anymore to mask the stress I feel outside of work.  I don't need to work so many hours for money's sake...I need to for sanity's sake.  I show no weakness.  I show no emotion.  I never show vulnerability.

I will never pick up the bottle, though.  I will never rely on something to make me feel better about myself.  I will never use a substance as a source of living.

I have forgiven my father for what he has done.  He has forgiven me, also.  I have learned the most valuable lessons in life from him.  I have learned to forgive.  When he moved out of the house that kept us apart for so long, I slowly started coming around.  I started meeting up with him on occasion and just talking to him.  For a man of few words, the words he has shared with me over the years have been monumental to my growth as a person in society.  I began forgiving him and building a relationship with him that can't be broken.  He knows what he did and how he was...that's all that matters to me.  He may have missed the years I was most vulnerable, but he's here for the years I'm most beautiful.

Our emotions are so similar.  His words are so soothing.  He calms me when I am in my most stubborn and aggravated state.  I admire him for his strength and his worry-free attitude.

I learned a lot about my father this past summer.  He got his second DUI.  It broke my heart.  As I stated in my journal, "it's like he's been diagnosed with a fatal disease.  He can receive treatment if he wishes, but his chances of survival is slim."  His entire life can be made or broken by this move.  In the weeks following the biggest mistake of his life, I spent a lot of time with him.  We talked for hours and hours about life and his options and his thoughts.  I had never been so close to my father before.  I had never gotten so deep into his mind before.  I don't think anyone has.  I could sense the worry and the fear, but he remained calm and balanced the whole time.

He told me something that will remain with me until the day I die.  When I asked him how he stays so calm, knowing that everything in his life is riding on the outcome of this mistake, he said, "well, Malia, it's isn't easy.  I keep it all in and let it slowly work it's way out.  It's not worth letting myself go nuts over it."  I admire him for that.  If it were me in his position, I'd be going nuts, wanting answers, needing resolution at that very moment.  He knows the worst is ahead, and he just remains calm and collected through the whole thing.

My father is a functioning alcoholic and a severe workaholic.  He's strange and very quiet, but I realized I wouldn't change him for anything.  I cherish the relationship we have now.  I want him to walk me down the isle someday and give me away to a man he knows will be good for me.  If there's anything I'm most thankful for in life, it isn't money or health, it's my father...

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