I never expected to see my father with his face and a sad story in the biggest newspaper of the Netherlands, ‘De Telegraaf’ (Click here).
Also I heard my father (67) being interviewed about the same topic on the national television. In the daily news show of ‘Hart van Nederland’ (Click here). And in the following days nearly all the national and regional newspapers were writing about it.
And amidst that ‘news storm’ I felt inside me a strange feeling of ‘honour’. Because I saw that my father was acting calm, upright and clear. Just like how I always want to be … 🙂
And so I learned these days that when ‘shit and shame’ is crossing your path – specially when it is not your own created drama – that you even than can make the best of the situation. That it is possible to react wise, mature and honest. And to demonstrate virtue, character and integrity.
And again, I discovered that my father is a ‘hatchet man’. Structuring the debris of others so that it can be cleaned up. Working very hard to limit the further spreading of the oil slick.
Trying to prevent more damage and to protect others.
After all, he is an experienced leader. His analytical and organizational capacities are well developed.
I felt dominated by my father
The relationship between my father and me was for years not well.
When growing up I felt dominated and not accepted by my strong opinionated and directive father. I saw myself like a little plant wrestling for space and oxygen in the shadow of a big, overwhelming tree.
I was otherwise thinking and feeling than him. Making choices which were worrying him.
For instance: He is for decades a faithful churchgoer and elder, while I am not anymore visiting church services at Sunday.
But, I admit, in this time of church scandals and MeToo stories I felt uplifted seeing how my father was framing this ‘dirty’ story. For sure, I thought, this moment ‘the church’ did happily not appear to be ‘slow acting’, ‘ignorant’ and ‘foolish’.
Three long walks on the heath
It dured until my marriage – and thanks to my wife – that I finally found the courage to show my father my pain. After that revelation of my inner debris we made, at my initiative, three long walks on the heath.
I was surprised that my father was giving me full permission to ask him – without any limitations – every question. And he was patient listening and seriously answering.
And than, finally, I dared to ask him whether he loves me? I hesitated and hesitated and felt awkward, but happily I asked it. Not wanting to let this insecurity anymore exist inside me. And risking the possibility that I would never know, while he would suddenly be passed away.
And for the first time in my life he comfirmed that he loves me!
Finally, I am leveling with my father
And when my first child was born, I felt that I was at last leveling with my father. I had upgraded my life to the same essence of being a parent.
Seeing the smile on the face of my father and the light in his eyes – when he was visiting us in the hospital – I felt that we both were standing at common ground. For the first time in my life I felt the equal of my father.
And when we nowadays are disagreeing and colliding, having still a different mindset, we can reunite and regroup at a very small spot in the Universe. It is a thousands years old, fertile source. A powerplace, and, yes, I dare to say it, a ‘holy’ well. It is the ‘sacred’ commitment that we in the core of our being love to be a ‘good’ father for our kids and the next generations which will be uprising in the coming centuries.
This is ‘promising’ soil we both can’t oversee …
And both of us won’t be entering this far away ‘country’ in our aging form of flesh and blood … 🙂