Father: Forgiveness, Gratitude and Accepting Reality

Description: 

NOTE: THE DHARMA TALK BEGINS AT TIME STAMP 01:10:45.

THE DHARMA TALK IS PRECEDED BY: GUIDED GROUP MEDITATION, A QIGONG MOVEMENT PRACTICE (LEAD BY JIM) AT TIME STAMP 00:55:15, AND ANNOUNCEMENTS.

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NOTE: ROBERT READ BOTH OF THE FOLLOWING PIECES DURING HIS DHARMA TALK

 

 "My father was the second oldest of seven children. His smother died of a brain tumor when he was seventeen. His father, a violent alcoholic who had beaten his wife, promptly abandoned the children.  The younger ones were placed in foster care or in the Catholic Home for Working Boys. My dad kept track of them all, hoping to bring them together under one roof someday. He never did.

 "My grandfather held an inexplicable grudge against my father. He would mail Dad postcards from seaports around the world that read, “Dear Jim, I’m alive, no thanks to you.” Toward the end of his life, my grandfather lived on the street in New York City. My dad paid the owner of a flophouse my grandfather frequented to make sure his father always had a meal and a bed. My grandfather died in that flophouse, of tuberculosis, sometime in the thirties.

"My father did not tell me these stories until I had kids of my own. By then I was mad at my dad because his own drinking had made out home a scary place for me as a child. I was mad at my mom because she’d been so passive, hardly ever getting out of bed. I was mad at my brother for leaving home and never looking back. I was mad at my sister for being everyone’s favorite. I felt the world owed me one big apology.

"My mom had plenty of time to apologize as she lay dying, but she didn’t. My dad didn’t apologize for his drinking, but he did get sober; that was apology enough for me. It was a pleasure to listen to him hum a tune as he stood on a ladder in my house, making electrical repairs for me and the kids.

"I am older now and have learned what a mistake it is to wait around for people to apologize. A wise person once said that holding on to anger is like eating rat poison and expecting the rat to die.

"No longer do I look down on people who offend me, extending forgiveness from my lofty perch. I understand now how limited we all are by circumstances, time place, history and luck. We humans are a frail lot; compassion seems to be the only thing that saves us."

 

-- Kathy Kelly, Florence Mass. The Sun, February 2005 --

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A Father and Daughter

she wakes up to the sound of crying.
muffled in the darkness.
she takes tentative steps to the room upstairs.
its her father.
bottles on the floor,
cigarette in his hand, the room is subdued, smokey.
she turns to leave, as silently as she walked in,
he whispers 'i'm sorry'
tears flow freely, streaking her cheeks
she runs to hug him.
four years later, and theyre still hugging.
they still cry together
but now they can laugh together
take trips together
play cards together,
friends as well as family.
they live in a small brown house,
it was so cold
so empty.
she still cries on her own
so does he.
he has a son who can't be with him,
who feels guilty for loving him
a wife that despises him,
but a daughter who can't live without him.
he's her rock,
her saviour,
her knight in shining armour.
she is the light of his life,
the apple of his eye,
his second chance,
his path to redemption.

-- Elsa Brooks --

Date: 
Sunday, June 17, 2018