Be sure and read the follow up “Get Out of the Way”
CONTEMPLATION: I have tried to blog about this topic multiple times. I have at least 3 drafts I’ve starting in regards to my Dad and the struggles that have taken over his life and infiltrated his family in many ways throughout the last 20 years. I just never felt right to post them, knowing that there was never any hope in them. I now have some hope to share and I’m ecstatic to do so, but before I do I need to share a brief back story. Here ya go!
William (Bud) White, a man of passion, creativity, entertainment, compassion, sensitivity and amazing talent, but inside of him you’ll also find addiction, rage, anger, insecurity, bitterness, unforgivness and the inability to express his feelings, but most importantly…….my Dad. These are some words that just come out of me when thinking of him.
THE BACK STORY
My brother and I come from a broken home. A home of multiple divorces and confusion amongst the both of us as to who to receive guidance and love from. Was it our Mom and Dad or our grandparents, whom helped raise us in our early years or both. These were questions that I’m sure stirred in our little adolescent minds back then. Our Dad was an amazing musician as well as our mother who played night clubs to put food on the table. Therefore, I would say that we grew up with very unconventional childhoods compared to most, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything as its made us who we are today. It was tough then and I can say we still feel some residue at times from it. But it was definitely cool to say our parents were rock stars by trade….well, local rock stars at least.
THE FAMILY DISCONNECT
I lost touch with our Dad was when my older brother and I moved in with our Mother full time when I was the age of twelve. What was perceived in my mind is that once we were out, our Dad felt that his job was done. I didn’t really get a call from him much after that and I think I remember only one fishing trip since then, compared to the every weekend weekend outings that we once had when we lived with him. During this time I really had no idea what he did throughout the year until I saw him at Christmas time at the grandparents, never knowing that he was just going downhill on many levels. Throughout these years he just never seemed happy with life, happy with his relationship with his own Dad and honestly, I don’t remember my Dad really ever being happy unless he was playing music or fishing. Everything else was just an inconvenience and work.
THINGS I MISSED OUT ON
Throughout these years of losing touch with my Dad in my early teen years, were some of the years that I needed him most, but the years that I actually lived with him were honestly some of my most memorable though. Mostly I needed him to tell me who I was and why I was feeling the things I was feeling as a young teenager; how to defend myself, take care of myself and how and when to talk to girls. He was quite good at that I must say, as landed my Mom and she was, is and always will be a knockout! Needless to say, I needed him something terribly and still miss him and need him in many ways that he may never understand.
Now here’s the part where the HOPE comes in. I wrote in one of my drafted blogs that “I haven’t talked to my Dad in over two years.” I can’t say that now cause HOPE has truly entered the equation since he now has a phone and I’ve been able to call him once a week for the past 4 weeks. They have been interesting conversations to say the least, but amazing. I had actually given up on my Dad a long time ago and even found it tough to pray for him anymore. These recent conversations have rekindled my hope in what God can do. My father has never acknowledged his grandkids, let alone, that I even had two sons nor did he ask how they were. EVER! It was always about him and that’s that. He was always a very “woe is me” type of guy and very overcome by various addictions. Super talented musician, as I mentioned above, and loves animals and some times people, but just didn’t love himself. I’ve never seen any change in him over 20 years…….UNTIL this past month. Only after the 4th call, and with me not telling him how to live his life, as I used to in the past, he has written me a letter asking about the boys in detail.He has also mentioned on the phone that he’s so proud of me and he loves me very much. This truly has made my decade! For most, this wouldn’t mean a thing, but for me this means EVERYTHING and shows that God can change what we think is the impossible. As far as I know, my dad is still living his same life on the outside, but for the first time in 20 years I’m seeing his life changing from the inside.
In the words of my pastor Pete Wilson, “our lives we live are not about being powerful, beautiful, rich or talented, it’s about your character” and I’m seeing that happen and transform right before my eyes, in a once hopeless man who I call my father.
I’m not sure it this means anything you, but sometimes we just need to write something for our own self to help us deal with things in our own way. I am a firm believer in the face that we’re not defined by our hardships, but by the way we respond to them. This is my story, and I’ve embraced it. That is only going to make me a better father to my two boys, Nolan and Parker.
Thanks for reading. If you connected with anything that I’ve shared, I’d love to hear your story as well.