Family. Just the mention of that word will elicit warm, fond and joyful memories and thoughts or anger and pain. There is no other word which has that kind of effect on our soul. Family. It’s where we are shaped and our earliest memories of life are deposited into our development bank account. The impact of those early days on how we developed later in life is significant. This is why the kinds of questions that we will answer in this weeks Leaving Your Legacy journal will either be fondly recalled or hard to bring to the surface of our minds. Last week we started with some questions about memories of our mother. This weeks questions are all about our family memories. Here are this weeks journal entries:
- What image of your father is the most striking in your memory? Why that image?
- List one special memory about each of your brothers and sisters.
- Share your fathers attitude toward life and how that affected you.
This week, I thought I would actually share my replies to these questions as part of the blog post.
> My mom and dad divorced when I was three years old. My mother remarried when I was eight. My dad did pick me up every Sunday and I’d spend the day with him. So, the image of my father is his driving up to our house on Sunday morning because I looked forward to that time and getting to spend it with my dad. That’s an image I have of my dad for much of my childhood. At the time I didn’t think it was a bad thing. It was all I knew. But, about 10 years ago I went through a period of real anger for all that my dad didn’t participate in during my life; baseball and soccer games, discussions about girls and dating, school and career discussions, help with the early years of my marriage, etc. I have come to know that my dad grew up in a very difficult situation and that his childhood was anything but ideal. It began to help me get through the anger and try to understand him as a boy and a man, just like me. Fathers are held in almost a revered state by their children. As a dad myself, I know I didn’t often think about the power I had just because I was a father. Whether I understood it or not, I had it. But, that is something that needs to be handed down from father to son. It’s all part of becoming a man.
> I didn’t have any full brothers or sisters. I had a step brother and two “half” sisters (from my mom and my step-dad). I was 8 yrs older than my oldest sister. I didn’t like my step brother at all. I think I was jealous that when he came on the scene, I was no longer the only child. My memories are vague but I remembered just being angry and taking that angry out on him. In fact, after I became a Christian at the age of 17, I become very convicted of my past behavior and ultimately went to Tim (my step brother) and asked for his forgiveness. He granted it. As far as my sisters go, I remember a time when I went to Colorado and had dinner with my sister who had moved out there trying to figure out what she was going to do with her life. It was one of the first times I remember having a deep discussion with her about anything. My other sister had many more issues growing up and that impacted our relationship. Eventually a number of years later, she became a Christian and, though there was still a lot for her to work through, she has become a much more joy filled person and the tangible difference in who she became after becoming a Christian is very evident.
> My dad had and has a pretty laid back approach to life. He’s not been much for stretching himself. But, he worked hard and faced adversity after the divorce from my mom. I know I didn’t understand all of the circumstances he faced. But he avoided ever telling me about the situation. My life was so much different than my fathers that I find it hard to answer this question. We are so diverse, religiously, politically and ideologically. But, we love football and enjoy talking about technology. I would say that as I saw his somewhat apathetic approach to investing himself in anything other than his own desires I was determined to not end up that same way. I don’t mean to sound demeaning toward my father but I just knew that I wanted to do more with my life than I saw my dad doing with his and that did have an impact on how I made decisions.
Well, that gives you a glimpse into how I would have replied in my Legacy journal this week. How about you? Are you staying current with the questions? No worries if you haven’t. Just start with this weeks questions and then you can keep going from here. When we are done we will have an entire journal filled with our response to these kinds of questions and we will leave a little more of ourselves to our family when our days are over. So, why don’t you join us! Happy journaling!