Just let it go

Why is that so hard?  Why do we hang on to some things and not others?  Why is “this” vs “that” stuck in our minds?  Human nature is very strange.  Some people make a very good living trying to figure it out.  In a way, I am making something from it.  I’m trying to do it on my own instead of paying someone to sit there and say, “Tell me how that makes you feel”, or “Tell me about your childhood”.  I’ve tried that path, but found it very disappointing.  I’ll have to do this on my own.

My 2007 Volvo 670, (one of many things I lost)

I’ve spent the last few years driving around the country in a truck.  On long hauls, you have plenty of time to think without interruptions.  The craziest things will sometimes pop into your mind.  Things you haven’t thought of in years. Some good, some bad.  Like it or not, those experiences are part of what make you the person you are.

As a young man, I “Held a grudge” for a long time against anyone I felt slighted me in any way.  I often thought about ways to “Get even”, but I never followed through.  I wonder where that came from?  I’ll tell you where, my father.

My father was an good financial provider.  He was never without a job.  As a child, I always had toys and good clothes.  I cant remember ever being hungry.  We lived in several nice houses.   I always had a yard to ride my bike, and neighbor kids to play with. It seems I had a normal childhood.

What was not normal was the fact that I can only remember a couple of times we did anything together as father and son.  We never played ball, never went fishing or camping.  I even learned to ride a bicycle by myself.  Many of my memories of him when I was under ten, were of him yelling at people in traffic.  I even remember him threatening another driver he felt had cut him off.  He always had something bad to say about someone else.  That will make an impression on a boy.

To his defense, because he was a combat vet in Korea, he probably had PTSD even then.  His father was somewhat abusive and never had time for him either.  He had no example to follow.  No one to teach him how to be a father.  That explains his actions, but it had an impact on me.  I think that’s part of the reason I never had kids.  I thought I might be the same to them.

Now that he is getting old, my feelings have softened.  I no longer feel angry with him, just a little indifferent.  I sometimes feel guilt, as if I should feel something more for him.  I do feel allot of compassion for him.  It pains me to see him so feeble, but I’m not sure if it’s for him or just to see another human being so weak.  I wish him no ill will, but I cant say I love him.  It’s a hard road to travel.  Some day I hope I can just let it go.

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