Something very serious happened to me, and here's a bit of background. Until now, I had a memory, an impression of my father, and it wasn't a very good one because in that memory, he was an alcoholic. He died an alcoholic, but he was the silent type; he would come home drunk and climb the stairs and go to bed, and we wouldn't even know he was there.
So, as children, he was an absent father. He didn't engage with us at all. But at the same time, we were aware of him as being a very intelligent man. He was a fluent Irish Speaker. He had gone to College. He had learned all kinds of amazing things and was well-traveled, very experienced, a brilliant conversationalist, and all of that. But the negatives hung very heavy on us as children, almost to the point of shame.
But what has changed now is forgiveness. This whole world is going through a huge opportunity for forgiveness, and I've chosen this opportunity to repaint the pattern, to remake the memory of my father. I'm aware some people might regard this as crazy, but to me, it's very real, because here's what happened.
I decided that my life was no longer the result, or the aggregate, or the fallout from my father's negative influence on my childhood. Instead, my memories of him are now wonderful. He was one of the most wonderful fathers I ever encountered. My father was loving. He was patient. He was kind. He took the time to play with us. He imparted his great knowledge to us. He gave us all great attributes and abilities and skills and talents. He was very loving to my mother. He displayed love, actually, everywhere he went, even in his work as a barber in the town. Everybody flocked to him because his conversations were engaging. He displayed a love of humanity. His stories were powerful, life-learning stories that he told to them and us.
And he had a following, almost like hero worship, in a sense. But it didn't get to where the ego became involved. No. He was a pure, honest, clean human that displayed qualities of leadership and self-control, but at the same time, enormous strength. My father was a man of strength.
He was a man of valor. He was a man of virtue. And he imparted all of that to me. He displayed these qualities to my mother. The display of affection and adoration that he had for my mother was astounding. It was a wonderful lesson to us in all kinds of ways, and he imparted it to all of us.
He was well-educated and he imparted all that knowledge, all that sophistication. He wore a hat that he claimed was the mark of a man, and he wore it with elegance and with dignity and with pride, and he imparted all that style to us. He imparted the qualities of the effective use of time where there was work and there was play. And in those times of play he was engaging. He was a wonder to be with.
And so, the final lesson to us was that love was the most important thing in the world and he lived it in abundance. And that led to forgiveness. If you love something, you forgive it. And he loved life. He loved my mother. He loved all of us and he forgave us. And that's why I'm here, why I'm declaring my love for him now. And why I'm declaring my forgiveness of him, to him.
I love you, father. I adore you. I respect you. I honor you. And this is my public declaration of that forgiveness and that honor.
Blessings and bye. Ahonu