Pathway to a Father’s Heart
In memory of “Alexandre Clement” (RIP)
Dad gave me some of the best memories on his 1976 Kawasaki KZ 900 riding all day long in the country during the weekends. We did not have to say much at all. It was a silent understanding and bond. He also taught me to play pool, bowl, skate, paint, the love of reading, poetry, bicycle, and arts in general. He was a calm man—for the most part. I marveled at my dad’s KZ 900.
Like many boys at that age back then, I looked at my dad with his bike as if he was a superhero. A superhero he was not. Neither was he a bad man nor evil. It took about 45 years for me to understand the man and have some compassion for him. Truth shall set you free they say… I can tell you that is true. Truth helps you understand the past. Although our past does not excuse some of our behavior, it helps explain it so we can correct it. When we come to an understanding, we can have more compassion for others and ourselves. Truth opens the gates of understanding which then opens the door to forgiveness and healing for a better future. When you reach that point of understanding and compassion for others or even for yourself, life gets a lot better.
Men nowadays, and in general, are vilified, mocked, and made to feel completely inadequate, unworthy, or frankly just dumb. The good news is hate hurts the hater more than the hated. You can put that one in the bank! Beware when you hear negative blanket statements about men (or women) out there. A lot of us men are caring and loving fathers. I am speaking of the fathers who provide for their families. The ones who take time for their significant others, for their children, and those out in the communities doing charity work. The ones who pursue personal growth because they know and are humble enough to have faith in the wisdom to seek help. I’m also speaking about the fathers who have made huge mistakes but have enough kahunas to own that. The fathers who make relentless efforts to correct behaviors without blame-shifting to justify anything. The fathers who are silent but steady and strong in the face of mockery, gossip, slander, or narcissistic hate. The fathers who, too, have been victims but who don’t care to stay victims. The fathers who loved with all they had in them and who only have time to move forward. I salute those men! I salute you all, fathers, who keep fathering regardless of any adversities!
As the eldest in the family, Dad lived in poverty. He had to help provide for a family of nine—he was robbed of his childhood. It was that or starvation. He lacked a lot of basic needs a child should have been given. He messed up big time, more than once. He was greatly misunderstood by his own blood because no one cared to know or face the truth and truly help him. His illness was met with hostility and mockery at times. He was a creative, sentimental, romantic idealist and a dreamer who ended up being diagnosed with manic depression. He eventually shot himself in the head. I am at peace with him and with all contributing “elements” to his demise.
My point is, love your dad. Love him. Regardless. Understand his truth. Learn about him. It will make life a bit better for both you and him. Not without challenges but still. When your bike makes a strange noise what do you do? You find the truth so you can better deal with it. Same with humans. When you see unusual behavior, don’t crucify and judge too quickly. I love my dad and miss him dearly today. I wish I could give him a big hug. I would probably give him a good punch as well but heck, it would be with a whole lot of understanding. I wish he was here to see my kids and my bikes.
Can you hear me through the written word pleading “Go love and hug your dad even if all you will get is a grumpy old man!”? Do it while you still can!