It was only at my father’s deathbed did I realize that it was foolish to hold onto my anger. Anger was the only thing keeping us apart. I had to let go.
It didn’t start out bad. I was very close to my father growing up. He was always kind and generous to me. He only spanked me once and I probably deserved it. If I ever had a problem, I knew that I could turn to him when I needed help.
As a teenager my perception of my father changed. He was not an idol anymore, in fact, I began to see his flaws. I discovered his many infidelities, and each infidelity hurt me to the core. I felt he put me in the middle, between my father and my mother. I kept the secret locked up, and I regret not speaking up to my father earlier.
I regret it because the knowledge of the infidelity ate away at me. I knew there was an injustice and I knew that it would hurt my mother if she found out. But I wouldn’t speak-up until my early thirties–when I exploded. Because I waited so long, my anger was not conveyed to my father in a controlled way, but I said hurtful things that I regret to this day.
My relationship with my father would never be the same.
I was angry at him for being unfaithful and he was angry at me for not understanding that the relationship with my mother was over. It took me till my father’s deathbed to realize that we are all human and what mistakes my father made I am certainly capable of making under similar conditions. Realizing this, I forgave my father and started to repair our relationship while he was dying of colon cancer.
I only wish I had done it sooner. It was surely pride that kept the conflict going. The famous writer, C.S. Lewis, once said that pride is the worse sin–and I agree.
So if you are holding onto a grudge against your dad–let it go. Don’t wait too long before extending the olive branch. Forgive and let go of your anger and salvage what’s left of your relationship with you father. It will be worth it.