Family Encounters

Family Encounters prose poem

Photo by Lars Plougmann

Father passed on nearly ten years before I got married
He was not there when I finished high school
Nor was he around when I finished college
My youngest sibling was nine months
There was a period of grief at his passing;
But then survival demands appeared and said,
“Let there be life”, and I moved on

At the time, his absence never bothered me
I learned to live without him; to leap from boy to man
I never accused or charged him for dying too soon; or did I?
I never blamed him for the pains and the wounds; or did I?
There were signs that he was becoming a better person to live with;
But I don’t really know how I would have differed had he lived longer

I learned many years later that I subconsciously shut him out; I shouldn’t have.
I charged him for things he did, and accursed him for things he shouldn’t have done.
Without mercy, I sentenced and banished him and all that he represented.
But I shouldn’t have.
Subconsciously, I reacted to his negative ways, but it was too late.
There were things I did not know, and other things I never considered.
I silently, without fuss or fight, without sufficient evidence, shut him out

Yes, I rendered him unimportant and irrelevant; Anything positive was blocked out,
Never rising to an appreciative level
It would take years to even realize this
Yes, father was dead physically, but he deserved a kind memory
However, for years, I was as if frozen, silent,
and unable to remember anything of value

But then it happened!! Twelve years ago at a family reunion,
a younger sister spoke well of our father and set me straight.
She spoke of things I never knew of the man whose memory I
had crushed, and whose influence I thought that I could live without.
It was like a reunion with my long deceased father; and as if I was
given a second encounter with him. I tell you, I forgave him and consciously
Let his influence and memory be back into my life; and I am the better for it.

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I am a retired minister and the husband of Barbara for 42 years. We reside in Sacramento ,Ca. We have two sons and a daughter, and we are the proud grandparents of 6 children.
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