A wise man recently wrote:
Its okay to debate…we all have the right to our opinion. Its okay to disagree…there is no monopoly on being right…perspective does not distinguish truth…just position! name calling is a shallow attempt at articulating frustration… go buy a dictionary! ~ David Callahan
I love this statement. I recently received an anonymous comment to one of my posts. Well, it really wasn’t all that anonymous since I could pinpoint the writer to one of two people. This person has a different perspective than I do concerning a situation that involves me and the relationship I had with my father. The interesting thing about this situation is that this person doesn’t know me. We have met briefly on a couple of occasions. I wouldn’t even say we were acquaintances. The person has no prior knowledge of the relationship my father and I shared other than what they have been told by another person. A person that they them self described to me in a most unflattering and negative light. The person giving them the information also has no prior personal knowledge of my relationship with my father.
In the anonymous comment the person, out of a lack to articulate their position, called me names somewhat like that of an elementary school child. They do have a right to their opinion. They should not, however, assume that they know me or anything about my character. I had a loving relationship with my dad for my entire life up until a few years ago. He was the doting father and I the devoted daughter. I loved him. He was my daddy. He did spoil me beyond belief. Not necessarily with monetary blessings (he paid only around $8,000 child support over my entire lifetime) but with time and thoughtfulness. I owe my upbringing to the man who my mother married when I was four years old. He was the one who put a roof over my head, provided a living for our family, paid for the food that I ate, and all the other things necessary for raising a family.
My dad had very limited time with me because of my parents divorce so he made the most of every minute he was given. He took me skating because he thought I needed to learn to skate. He took me to the public pool because he thought it was important for me to learn how to swim. He taught me to do both of these things while standing outside of the arena that they took place in.
I was not the only person who received my father’s generosity. He was a good friend to many people. I have had countless people tell me of times when my dad gave them or someone they know money when he thought they were having a hard time. He spent countless hours helping a friend build a house. I cannot tell you the number of times he served as a pawnbroker to a friend who was having a hard time financially.
My dad lived his entire life dependent on the generosity of my grandparents. He lived with them until the time of their deaths, paying no rent and buying little food. They never complained about him living there and allowing me to live there every weekend. Why? Because that is what parents, good parents, do. They provide for their children, they give them gifts of time and money not because the child asks for it but because it brings them joy.
The person who wrote that comment to me obviously did not have that kind of relationship with their parents as a child. For that I am truly sorry. That, however, is no excuse for calling me names or questioning my relationship with my father. They have been told many untruths without stopping to think and consider that maybe they are wrong. I too could resort to name calling because the very names they called me could very easily be used to describe their behavior. They live off my father’s generosity. He told me that himself. One of them has lived rent free in my father’s house for over 10 years and now it is my understanding that the other has moved a mobile home onto the property that was paid for by my grandfather over 60 years ago.
My dad was a generous man. A simple man. He was kind and many people took advantage of that fact. His personality changed when he met and married his new wife. They know the man that he became in his last 10 years of life, a man who was very different from the man that I remember from my childhood. I know and remember the man that I spent 32 years being his little girl, his only child, the joy of his life, and the apple of his eye. Sure I frustrated him beyond belief as a teenager, not because I was bad, because I never caused my parents any trouble. I was a good student, a good kid, I was and am a rule follower. Teenagers frustrate their parents–that is just what they do. It is hard to let go and let them grow up and that is one thing that my daddy struggled with. Now that I am facing the things that my father experienced when I was a teenager, I understand. It is difficult to let go. It is heartbreaking when you are no longer the most important person in your child’s life. Unfortunately that is life. We are born, grow up, get married, have children, and the cycle continues.
It is unfortunate that this person can’t see my point of view. They probably never will. It is outside the realm of their experience and they can’t understand something so foreign to them. But that doesn’t change the truth. The truth is and will always be exactly what it is and opinions will never alter it.