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The Word Is: Breakthrough

"To say that our whole life is programmed by the combination of inheritance through genes is less than a half truth. We mostly are what we are because of the way we reacted to life experiences in the past and the way we continue to react in the present. The great breakthrough is possible at any given time. Our whole life can be changed by understanding that inherited factors get weaker as our positive reactions to life get stronger and stronger. The choice is yours, make the breakthrough and the past cannot bind you! - Ralph Rhea

I've decided to begin my missive on Grey Cup Day, 1974. Grey Cup is to Canada as Super Bowl is to the States....except we celebrate it up here!. Kidding. So, I was living in Montreal at the time. I had an aunt and uncle in Ottawa (a couple hours drive away) who I would go and visit periodically. They had no kids of their own, and so they sort of "adopted" us and became second parents. In fact, we're celebrating my aunt's 90th birthday in a couple months.

So here we are, watching this finals game (....no doubt, Edmonton against someone, it always worked out that way < smile! > ) and the phone rang. It was my Mom calling. Now, you have to appreciate that Grey Cup usually runs towards the end of November. You also have to appreciate that no one, and I mean NO one, ever calls anyone DURING the Grey Cup game. That is one step short of blasphemous, and makes even us non-Catholics eligible for ex-communication. I had been up visiting my folks (and "showing off" my girlfriend) at Thanksgiving, which is a few weeks earlier. Everything appeared fine then.

Mom's message was that she had to take away the car keys from Dad, because he got confused too easily, got lost, forgot how the pedals worked....forgot how to drive. We lived in the country, and my Mom never learnd how to drive. Apparently, he spent a day or two looking for wherever he had left the keys, then just gave up looking.

I figured he had some nerve disorder, and I sure hope they were able to get to the bottom of it quickly, because Mom would be stuck till then (although I still had one brother in the Soo who did magnificent things in keeping her satisfied (and occupied). We all owe him for what he and his wife did.

I don't think I watched the rest of the football game though. I might have....I just don't remember the score.

I've bragged about my Dad a lot before, and I'll do it again briefly, because it will become part of the release-story. Dad was a world-recognized scientist in the field of Entomology. He was the Director of a research institute which atracted some of the top scientists from around the world (roughly 100, plus their support staff if I remember correctly). He fairly often was invited to deliver papers to international congresses in various countries. And when he was home, he was very active in social and community organizations (Chairman of School Board, Chair of Board of Directors of Algoma College, President of Sault Ste Marie Water Conservation Society, member of various church boards...you get the picture. A guy who couldn't say "No". In addition, of course, there was their social life. There was a group of about 10-15 that would get together regularly (i.e. every 2 weeks or so) for bridge or whatever, and we ALWAYS spent New Year's Eve with the "old folks".
For a pasttime, he would work on completing our house, which we moved into when it was in a "rather incomplete" state.

There's lots more to tell, but that'll set the stage, I think.

I respected him very much, but I don't ever remember loving him.

That's some of the pain I can't let go of.

How do you love someone retroactively who's been dead for 30 years?

Or, how do you not love him?


Those last few questions are going to be tough to come up with an answer to I'm sure. I kind of know how you feel I think. My parents took care of us as children, but it was not like how it is now with my children, who get hugs, kisses and "I love you's" every day and several times a day. There was never any question that my parents loved or cared for us, but not showing it had an impact on how I see them today. I'm close to them, and yet I'm not. My dad is very adament about seeing his kids get by, maybe a little too much help IMO, but that's where it stops for showing a caring nature. Just how he was raised I suppose that is overflowing into his own family.

For me, it wasn't enuf and I intend to show my own children each day how much me and daddy love them and care about what happens to them. I think it's hard for my parents to show "love" in a traditional way, I just plan to break that behavior in my family.

Hello darling! Great post, as usual. I haven't been around much, been away in a deep blue funk. But I'm back now, and wanted to wish you a Happy Halloween! Love you! :-)

MW: I suspect you've hit the nail on the head more directly than you imagine. In our family, it was handshakes instead of hugs; "good job" instead of "I love you." There's only one time I remember kissing Dad, and I'll be writing about that soon. I fully understand that it's symptomatic of the times that they grew up in, but the irony is that doesn't do anything for me!

....and {{{{hugggzzz}}} back at ya, Angela!

Wow. Those are some hard questions.
I am sorry that you feel such pain for not remembering loving your Dad.
I don't know if you can go back & love or not love someone. But before you decide if you did or didn't love him just remember that love comes in different disguises. There isn't a blueprint for those feelings. You can love many people in many different ways. Maybe you loved your dad in a way you don't recognize.
I say this because I see the love for your Dad in your posts. It may be a different love than what you feel for your Mom,siblings etc. but nonetheless it is still love.
Hope you work through this.
((((more HUGS)))) to you.

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  • I'm Evydense
  • From Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  • And I'm tired of living in the shadow of narrow-mindedness and ignorance. So here's the fax, Jack! "The Bible contains six admonishments to homosexuals and three hundred and sixty-two admonishments to heterosexuals. That doesn't mean that God doesn't love heterosexuals. It's just that they need more supervision." - Lynne Lavner*** I'm confused; curious; satisfied; realistically resigned to being a frustrated idealist; usually at peace with myself, but not always. Amazed at how little I know, and wondering how much I need to understand.
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