Say It Ain’t So & Say It Is So

Dear daddy, I write you in spite of years of silence.
You cleaned up, found Jesus, Things are good also I hear.
This bottle of Stevens awakens ancient feelings…
Like father, Step-Father…
The sun is drowning in the flood!

Say it ain’t so a-woah-woah.
You drug is a heartbreaker.
Say it ain’t so a-woah-woah.
My love is a life-taker.

Weezer – Say It Ain’t So (excerpts)

I am of you
You are always in view
Yea, I am my will
But you are in everything I do

Tragically Hip – In View (excerpt)

I had some time to reflect on the relationship me and my father had (died when i was 10)- and these songs encapsulate it quite well (except I enjoy whiskey and not Steven’s – apparently my dad’s drink of choice also – whiskey I mean).

I think if my dad had lived to see all what his sons have (and are) accomplishing he would be very proud. In some senses, we all redeemed his memory. What I can remember of him – none of it is all that good – and I think he needed us to be the way we are. I have brothers (and one sister) who all are very positive about life and working in fields of social/community work, education, employment, gov’t, and homekeeping. Top that off. we are all fairly active in our Aboriginal communities in seeing positive results and growth.

For all his negativity that I can remember we are breaking that curse – with a new founded outlook on the very things he cared about (ie: education and Aboriginal issues) and bringing him a ‘good name’. I feel like I am part of that – and Just1 also – we carry a sacred name to the next ones…we do not repeat the cycle – we have rewired what we have been given to bring about glory to God…and to our neighbors.

Dad, I drowned in the flood of what you left…the pain and the hurt. Thank God I can swim. This time my love is a life taker – I will take the life you produced and make you proud…even if my pride in you was lacking…you are in everything I do.

Advertisements

15 thoughts on “Say It Ain’t So & Say It Is So

  1. Wow, man. That is powerful. It sounds like you’ve been on a pretty long and painful road.

    Have you ever read Wild at Heart, by John Eldridge? He gets a lot of crap for some misunderstood writing in the first half of the book, but the latter half is unbelievably helpful in understanding the wounds left by our fathers. The Way of the Wild Heart, is even more powerful in that area. I recommend both.

    It’s unreal how much this influences us, isn’t it?

  2. **I think if my dad had lived to see all what his sons have (and are) accomplishing he would be very proud. In some senses, we all redeemed his memory. **

    I really like this statement, because it’s almost like you are finding something good about your father, in the end. If you are redeeming his memory, it’s like you and your siblings are being everything he could have, and should have, been. And the only way you could accomplish that is if you came from your father in the first place.

  3. “For all his negativity that I can remember we are breaking that curse – with a new founded outlook on the very things he cared about (ie: education and Aboriginal issues) and bringing him a ‘good name’. I feel like I am part of that – and Just1 also – we carry a sacred name to the next ones…we do not repeat the cycle – we have rewired what we have been given to bring about glory to God…and to our neighbors.” (SVS)

    Kind of reminds me of an often misquoted and misused passage from Deuteronomy. The one about the “generational curse”. I don’t know how many times I have heard it quoted and applied to our family and for a brief period thinking it was true.

    I guess I need to be thankful for some misguided, but well meaning ministers for trying to keep me from being cursed. But it was the legacy of the man himself, more than anything, that inspired (for lack of a better word) me to not repeat the sins of my father. Thus, my son gets treated no where near in the same manner as we were treated.

    At times I have looked back on those years and upon what Dad taught us or didn’t teach us. I really don’t know what ever prevented him from interacting with us, but he sure had a problem with it. I was 18 when he died. In those 18 years, I can’t remember ever having a real conversation with him.

    What’s really odd is people that knew him have great memories of him and they remember a great man. He tended to treat people around him really well, inspired them even, and could be the life of the party.

    I guess, I can go on and on about what he did and didn’t pass on to us, but this is not the forum for those comments. But as every son has to, I had to go make my peace with my dad. At the age of 36, I went and had a conversation with him at his gravesight. He had to listen, of course, and I let him know of his failures, then I forgave him. Whether or not he heard me really doesn’t matter, even though I think he did, it did help and I have been at peace with him ever since.

    Brennen, more than anybody, reaps the benefits.

    BTW, I own the book Wild at Heart if you ever want to read it.

  4. Jason B.

    A post which has hit the core of my heart. My father died when I was a baby, I never knew him. Though my heart still aches for the words, “good job son”. I know I will never hear them so it is up to me to let that need go. As with you guys,(even though our world is different), I can fully relate to your challenges. My pain continued far after my fathers death, in fact, the next most important male in my life, ensured that it would continue. I understand the scars left by the “generations”, and as I have given life to new ones I have sworn to be better. I want to thank you for your words and wisdom, even though they may only come through a screen, I want you to know that they have touched my spirit……………………..I hope this quote I leave you with will touch you as it did me.

    “Would the boy in you, Like the Man that you have become”

    I like me………….So does GOD.

  5. “It’s unreal how much this influences us, isn’t it?” (Brad)

    I think dealing with the past is part of the key to finding real success in living a healthy life. I am quite amazed how much childhood memories do impact the way one does run their life…some things just stick with us longer than we expect.

    “I really like this statement, because it’s almost like you are finding something good about your father” (OSS)

    True. I don’t have very much nice to say about him in general – but I feel I also did not get to know him well either – and maybe their were qualities about him that were good – seeing this most of his children are doing quite well in their lives. I forgave my father many years ago – and periodically – I find I have to continue in that process for my own well being…at least to see if I can live the motto ‘love your neighbor or honor your father’.

    “I was 18 when he died. In those 18 years, I can’t remember ever having a real conversation with him” (Just1)

    Same, I was 10 mind you – but i cannot remember a thing he ever said – only his anger stands out. For some odd reason, people remember the bad things a lot more clearly than the good things – which as a word to the wise – avoid doing the bad things at all costs – people have sharper memories for that stuff.

    “Though my heart still aches for the words, “good job son”. I know I will never hear them so it is up to me to let that need go” (John)

    Thank for the kind words John. I have this same type of feeling also about my history – unbelievably what made this better for me was having in a God I could call ‘Father’. For some reason, that made things a lot easier for me to deal with the past and work through these painful issues. I guess I viewed God as some cosmic dad of sorts – who cared about all the things I did or will do…so my view of God actually helped me in my healing process. I kind of know what it means when Jesus says ‘blessed are the poor in spirit’ – because when i was broken/poor God was able to make something out of nothing – and I was able to see it clearly for some reason.

    “Would the boy in you, Like the Man that you have become” (John)

    I like the slogan. I think this way sometimes when I am looking at everything in the light of the bigger picture – I look back and I am able to see what leaps I have made to healing and wholeness. I am by no means perfect or anything like that – but I like who I have become and what I am doing with my life. Being pleased with the progress I have seen in my life does provide moments of contentment. I like me…and as you say…so does God…there’s a real contentment in that.

    I wrote this because the person I speak of is gone – and has been gone for a long time – but the lack of knowing him left a void. Now my wife is dealing with the same problems in her life with her mom – who is alive and struggling with issues of addiction, depression, and control. My wife really takes the abusive end of the stick in that whole ordeal and that sucks. I had to think – maybe life is easier not having to deal with the actual problems in the current and only with the one’s in my memory.

  6. yeah dude.. i feel ya. it seems that we who lost our fathers seem to find eachother. you, me, and john t. all have bonded (i think so at least) and we’ve all lost our fathers early. wonderful post, hit rather too close to home (mainly because of content and the other because of the awesome song choices).

    i lost my father due to divorse, but i’ve never met him since i was 6. it’s not the same but the father is absent. the book “Absent Fathers, Lost Sons” is a wonderful read and really helped put things into perspective.

    thanks for this post man.

  7. Jason B.

    “Now my wife is dealing with the same problems in her life with her mom – who is alive and struggling with issues of addiction, depression, and control. My wife really takes the abusive end of the stick in that whole ordeal and that sucks. I had to think – maybe life is easier not having to deal with the actual problems in the current and only with the one’s in my memory”(societyvs.)

    Its funny how for many of us we have similar issues. My wife is dealing with many of the things your wife is dealing with. I think it is true that sometimes its easier on us if its not always in our face. The one thing though, is they have the opportunity for reconciliation in this life, we dont get that face to face chance. Our prayers for your wife to find the strength to work it through.

    “it seems that we who lost our fathers seem to find eachother. you, me, and john t. all have bonded (i think so at least) “(Luke)

    I agree with you Luke, and I hope Jason feels the same. Kindred spirits. One thing I have noticed about you guys(and I like this very much). You both seem to have Loving hearts, and also the abililty to do battle lol.

  8. ““it seems that we who lost our fathers seem to find eachother. you, me, and john t. all have bonded (i think so at least)

    I agree with you Luke, and I hope Jason feels the same. Kindred spirits. One thing I have noticed about you guys(and I like this very much). You both seem to have Loving hearts, and also the abililty to do battle lol.” (Luke and John)

    Since my middle name is Mark – it all makes sense – all we need is a Matthew to complete the gospel circle (lol)…we almost had a Joshua but he…well he was a little archaic for this crew.

    I tend to feel the same way – about the bonding part and that sense of closeness we seem to derive from one another – in these convo’s and in convo’s elsewhere. Let me explain in some depth.

    I first met Luke on another site – we were kind of doing some interpretive battle for some theological doctrine. As soon as I read his first comment – I knew this was someone theologically similar to me – and I felt a sense of comradery. Not sure why – but I knew I wanted to be this person’s friend – maybe because we share similar views – but I value those views also – I have seen them work.

    I met John on this blog – he came and commented on my site. I then learned he came from Bold Grace – and I have always liked Bruced, Geo, Cliff’s and Kevin’s views on living life…so I figured he must be similar. He was and he even had an edge to him – which is something that adds some spark to the convo. I find that he also shares many of the same views about faith as I do – but what stood out more for me was the honesty. John was someone that was real to me right off the bat – it wasn’t about quoting scripture or what not – but about real living…I like that – cause I like real life.

    I feel that sense of ‘kindred spirits’ also – I find in our similarities we also have dealt with similar pains – maybe even seeking the same types of things in/from our faith. I also see that you both are very compassionate – and sometimes in convo this can get missed – but I see it in your views and concepts about God. Plus, let’s be honest, none of us are that orthodox about the faith – and being outsiders has caused the bond to be more closer. I notice this when we are on other blogs debating some issue – we seem to have one another’s back. Maybe we are all younger too? I am only 33 and just starting to come into my own.

    But I enjoy everyone on this blog and have some close friendships (in some sense) with a few of them…in the sense that I feel the need to come to their aid if I see them being bashed or something on a blog. For me OSS and Yael have become 2 pieces of this whole journey that have become irreplaceable. Gotta love blogging!

  9. “my father, who is in the ground
    Harry be your name”

    I have conflicting memories of our dad.

    He was mean, but I also understand he had a rough childhood.
    He was caring to me (from what I remember)
    He provided. he was gone alot. He could laugh. He also could scream.
    He could drink. He would bring home little mystery bags of toys.
    He could and would fight. He used to play guitar and tell jokes.
    He was human. He was my father.

    I forgave him for all that he did to us. I have learned a lot about parenting from him. mostly how I do not want to be.

  10. wow! thanks dudes. yeah i’m a youngster, 26 in body but my mind is about 12 (i like poop jokes, what can i say?).

    but right on, i feel ya! rawk!

  11. “I have conflicting memories of our dad…I forgave him for all that he did to us. I have learned a lot about parenting from him. mostly how I do not want to be” (Wolf)

    I liked your synopsis of him – it’s very true – he was antitheical in behavior. He was what Paul labelled correctly ‘For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate.’ (Romans 7:15) I think dad was that conundrum to a tee – and now we are learning from that.

    I feel the same way you do on some level – concerning the synopsis – I feel a conflict in me about him. You know, and this is me speaking on some theological bent – I actually do hope he is in heaven or in some after-life where we can address all the issues in life that were left unanswered. My greatest hope for my dad, way after the fact, is that he would be there so things can be redeemed and made right. That has always been the goal of my forgiveness (although I have no say on anyone’s eternal hereafter) – but that’s how I feel.

  12. Luke and John – my sense of humor is quite – depraved. I am a huge fan of South Park – but anything that pushes the boundaries in humor – I would like. I am thinking I would of loved Lenny Bruce in his days. I will laugh at almost anything – not saying this is a ‘good thing’ – but it is what it is.

    I am a rabbit on the Chinese year thingy – not sure why but that’s where I fell on there yearly map. I always laugh when i read those Chinese yearly things in Chinese restaurants because their is one on that calendar that is a ‘rooster’…and in this one place in Regina they label the rooster a cock.

  13. For me OSS and Yael have become 2 pieces of this whole journey that have become irreplaceable. Gotta love blogging!

    Perhaps because I also belong to the ‘learning to cope with the memory of a father’s bad behavior’ club. It was interesting you posted this the day after what would have been my father’s 76th birthday if he hadn’t died before Thanksgiving. Although it wasn’t planned but two days in advance, I gave the Torah introduction at shul on his birthday. To me it was a fitting way to honor the good of my father, that he loved studying his Bible even as I love studying Torah. As most people here know, my father was a minister but what no one knows is that he hated topical sermons. He always spoke about a whole passage and of course with my introduction that is what I did as well.

    It’s as you said, Society, I re-wired things and carry on not in his footsteps, but in my own, yet still on a somewhat similar path. And it was great doing so on Shabbat; it was the absolute best, to look out over a whole congregation of Jews and speak words of Torah, our sages thoughts of Torah and my thoughts of Torah. Afterwards I felt a great sense of contentment. Before I was always bothered by the idea that I’m just another Isaac, who never dug his own wells but only ever went back and opened the wells of his father, whose life seemed to be just a shadow of his father’s. On Shabbat, however, I took one more step in making peace with my father’s memory. Our wells may be somewhat similar but the way we dig them and the people for whom we dig are quite different. If he could see me, I think my father would be pleased.

  14. “I also belong to the ‘learning to cope with the memory of a father’s bad behavior’ club.” (Yael)

    I really need to start a club for this – after I posted this post of honesty – a lot of people spoke up about some of their own problems with their parents (namely dad). Maybe it could be a new type of church ministry for reconciliation in the family.

    “Our wells may be somewhat similar but the way we dig them and the people for whom we dig are quite different. If he could see me, I think my father would be pleased.” (Yael)

    I think that for the lot of us sitting here and digging through our memories – maybe dad’s have a tough time showing their emotions and feelings (and I can relate as a guy). I just think sometimes it is good to spill all this stuff on the table only to clean it up again – like a good old game of 52 card pick-up.

    I am proud of everyone here for their honesty – and your story yael kind of encapsulates the point of healing in these things – moving forward and doing something constructive (which is a good word for the analogy of building wells).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s