My Father, The Gift Of Love
My father softened, when did this happen? Why did this happen?
Was it my Dad who softened, or was it I? In the scheme of life, does
it matter, who when or why? The important element is that it has
happened. My father and I have found one another. It is perhaps
the greatest joy since “birthin’ my babies.”
From the time I was a child, I always hoped that
my father would notice me, to give me credit for being me. He shudders
when I tell him, "Dad, we're so much alike".... yet we are. I have
his strength, his character and his game face! Often times we appear
to be tough cookies simply because we must keep up a front for those we
Love, as well as for ourselves. If we crumble, what will happen to
them? So we walk through life believing we are in control of our
emotions; believing that one way or the other we will make everything work
out for those we Love.
It isn’t easy coming home at any age, no less, after a failed
marriage, failed business; children who were sorely disappointed that their
parents were no longer together. What choice did I have, other than
to live on the streets of Dallas? I was moving home with my parents.
What choice did my parents have? After all of their
years of hard work and effort raising and supporting children to have their
child come home as a failure. This must have been very difficult
for them. How would they explain me to their friends? The stock market
was falling, their retirement money was at jeopardy and their daughter
was home, with nothing.
Life was on edge for the first couple of months I was home.
We were all walking on eggshells. The three of us were doing the
best we could to make the most of a difficult situation. Days were
spent seeking employment; evenings were spent working on Hearts With Soul.
As I see it, our first momentous moment was in March
after Mom and Dad returned from a ski trip in Santa Fe. My heart
was warmed as I watched as Mom helped guide Dad in the RV back into its
parking spot. Mom and I then unpacked the RV while Dad took care
of its maintenance. Dad called me over to my car, “Teri, your tire
is low, let me show you how to put air in it.” The dialog between
my father and I opened as he taught me how to check my oil, water and tire
air pressure. Dad shared his concerns for me and my future as he
taught me the basic mechanics of car care. This began a new pattern of
shared time and effort, a new beginning in our communication with each
other. He was able to teach and I was able to appreciate and learn from
One month later I left for a road trip to Mexico. Knowing my
parents as I do, their work ethic, their commitment to responsibility,
I knew this was not a trip that would meet their approval, yet, neither
said anything about my choice. A week later, I returned to an empty house.
I began working on Hearts With Soul and several hours later I heard my
father’s voice, “Teri?”
I walked out of my office into the hallway to be
greeted by my father’s open arms.
“Welcome home, we missed you.”
My Dad and I stood in a warm and Loving embrace. My father missed
me, and was open to the opportunity to tell me so. My father held
me in his strong and Loving arms; he was happy that I was home. Later
that evening he strongly suggested that I look into the schools in Tyler.
Education was my background and I had always been very successful.
I took his advice and the next morning I was on the telephone with an interview
the following afternoon. I was finally employed, I would write curriculum
for a private preschool.
Three months after I began working I had come to
the decision I could no longer continue with Hearts With Soul and hold
a full time position. My work ethics, learned from my father, had
me giving more time to my job than was expected. Along with Hearts With
Soul it was simply too much!
One Thursday morning before my mother was up I walked
into the computer room to speak to my father. Taking a deep breath,
generating the courage I needed to say this without crying, I approached
the computer room door.
"Dad, I am giving up Hearts With Soul. I can't do
With Love in his warm, blue eyes my father wrapped
his strong arms around me. “Teri, I am so proud of you. You’ve
made a difference for many people and you’ve given more than most could
have or would have given.”
My father looked me in the eyes and pulled me back
into him, “I am too old to cry sweetie.”
He knew giving up my dream was a difficult decision
for me. I believe my choice hurt my father as much, and perhaps more,
than it hurt me. Yet, we both gained a new element to our relationship,
a new level of Love, trust and understanding.
There are many special moments that Dad and I have
shared over the past year and a half, one just as special and unique as
the other. Slowly, cautiously Dad and I have come to know each other.
Dad and I have certainly gained a new appreciate and Love for each other.
We’ve had many tender moments trying as best we could to bridge a gap that
I believe we have both yearned to close.
Thank you for Loving me, teaching me to be fair, honest, and to
change the oil in my car!!
~ © Teri Wilber
Used with author's permission
Teri writes a wonderful site, please
find time to visit
Hearts With Soul An Inspirational
Site Celebrating ManKind