My Dads impact on my life

by rodney on May 27, 2013

father-and-sonMy relationship with my Dad hasn’t been an easy one.

I had no contact with my Dad from the ages of 12- 29. After so many years apart, I reconnected with my Dad after a near death experience. In 2010, I contracted swine flu and was on life support in an induced coma for 11 days. When I woke up, I heard how often my Dad has visited, even though we hadn’t spoken for over 10 years. We then reconnected which taught me many things about myself and relationships in general.

As I write this, my Dad died a couple of days ago. He had a short battle with cancer that he lost sooner than expected. Even though I didn’t get to have all the conversations I wanted to have, I have come to realise just how much of an impact my dad has had on my life. His impact has shaped my life and taught me some of the most important lessons of my life.

Only you can make the decision to change

When I was growing up, I had a lot of anger towards my Dad. I always thought that if any reconciliation was possible, he would have to be the one to change. Over the years, I worked on the anger I felt as it was killing me inside. When I found out that my Dad wanted to see me after my coma, I realised that the anger I felt was gone.  My Dad hadn’t changed, I had changed.  So often we wait for other people to change because it was them, not us in the wrong. This gives your power to others as you are relying on external circumstances to control what you do. By me changing, I was taking full control and responsibility of my own life.

It’s never too late

I hear so many stories of people who have lost contact with family for many years who don’t attempt to make amends because too much time has passed. I reconnected with my Dad at 29. Even though he had missed a large part of my childhood and missed a lot of my growing up, he still got to know me as an adult. No matter how much time has passed, how much blood has been shed, how many negative emotions have been expressed or what words have been said, it is never too late. While sometimes it can be difficult, it is possible to make amends and make up. A big reason why I didn’t earlier was I felt that too much time had passed and nothing positive could come from it. Had I continued to think that way, I would have missed out.

We are influenced by our parents

Having never grown up with my Dad and not having around during my formative years, I always believed that he had no influence on me or on my life. However, I have just come to realise that I wouldn’t have become the person I am today without his influence. I believe that part of a Fathers role in a son’s life is to help them define masculinity. Without my Dad, I had to figure a lot of things out myself. I built my own unique definition of masculinity which, mostly, was the opposite of what I believed my dad to represent. It is that definition that I now base my work in Bloke Support around. Even if he wasn’t around, his influence has led me to what I believe is my life’s purpose. We are all either directly or indirectly influenced by our parents.

The journey has been long. It has been filled with a lot of anger, a lot of sadness, a lot of fear but also a lot benefits such as growth and maturity. I am grateful for the impact on my life my Dad has had. I have many of the tools I will need on this next part of my life journey. It also serves as a reminder to the impact we have on the lives of those around us, especially our children.

Thank you Dad, while you may have not been the father I wanted, you were the one that I needed .

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