The biggest change is that my father died in a motorcycle accident on September 11th 2009. He was 60 yrs old. I am 40yrs old.
My dad and I were good friends. Over the last 23 years, after I came to live with him in High School, I have come to understand and accept my dad and our relationship. It has always been a struggle for me being from a family with many dysfunctions but my dad's long stint with recovery from Alcoholism was a major influence on me as a young man and began a life long process of change that I continue through today.
When I was in seventh grade I went to live with my dad in Salem, OR. He was newly sober after realizing that he was addicted to Alcohol. A sobriety that would last until his death. I believe that it was this time in my life which gave me the clarity and sobriety to avoid alcohol addiction. Thank you dad for getting sober early enough in my life that I could learn from you prior to embarking on my adult path.
Over the remaining years of my child hood I would come and go from different family arrangements and eventually I came once again to live with my dad. He had divorced and remarried in the 4 years that I hadn't lived with him. So as I entered 11th grade I settled into what seemed like the first Father-Son relationship of my life. Of course neither of us were skilled at being a father and son and we had a lot of baggage to overcome but we did reach an understanding and developed a relationship that would last the next 23 years of my life.
It was this relationship and the lessons I tried to learn from my dad's mistakes that have propelled me into adult hood. I was little D and he was big D. Although in many ways my dad never was the kind of father I want to be he was a good one. He tried his best. It was with this acceptance that I found great peace in my life around this relationship.
However, on September 11th I became big D. Gone from my life is the person who my mother said I was just like. Gone from my life was a man I never saw achieve the things he wanted. My father taught me many things, but the lessons I've learned the most from him were things he learned the hard way.
I am not really anything like my dad. Physically, emotionally, and personality we are very different. There were some similarities in mannerisms but beyond such affections we never set our sail the same way.
My father was content at being a mechanic for nearly 40 years. While he wanted more for himself he never took the risk to strike out and go for it. As I strive into the future I will look back upon the life of my father with love and fondness but also with a resolve. A resolve that my life is not a reflection of his. I am not limited by my belief structure. I create and modify my beliefs to reflect an ever growing understanding of truth.
My father loved many, many people. My father was a great man and he will be remembered by the hundreds of people he loved. My life was enriched by him and I will resolve to life my life in a way that would make him proud.
As you may or may not believe in an afterlife this portion of my blog post may ring true or not.
In my life time there are three people who I know are watching out for me from the afterlife. My grandfather Kester, my grandfather McLeod, and my father. I know that they are part of a long chain of ancestors who I am connected to through god.
As a spiritual being I am connected to them even after death. I know they will always be with me.