What do you have trouble forgiving yourself for?

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What do you have trouble forgiving yourself for?--Al

-- Al Schroeder (al.schroeder@nashville.com), June 19, 2000


Oh, my goodness-long list or short list? First and foremost: Not being able to see my dearly cherished/beloved grandparents in almost twenty years. Yes, I stayed in touch as much as possible-called often as budget permitted, letters, cards and sent my children to visit when we could not afford for all of us to go....and they both recently passed away-cousins who live close-by told me they both (grandmother especially) kept repeating if they could just see me once more.....Now, not the horrific distances (over 2500 miles one way), money shortages, injuries, illness, college schedules, family- of-origin issues, any of it justify/explain/excuse the long absence.

As a mom myself, now trying to imagine NOT seeing and being in the same room w/my dearly loved sons, my heart cracks right in two pieces.

-- Jo Dillon (MissMelanieJo@cs.com), June 19, 2000.

Why is Father's Day such a bittersweet affair for so many? In the majority of journals I read, the tone of the "father's day" entry was somber, angry, regretful...confused, sad...lonely...

I wrote a one paragraph entry about the size of a pea, thanking my kids for a good day. I didn't want them to look back one year and find that regardless of their best efforts and the effort of my wife, that I was in the funkiest of funks. All day long.

Why? Because rather than mourning the death of my father, or in Al's case, sorting through the loss of a child, I was mourning the loss of my father...who is alive and well a short 4 hours away, with his new wife and children...celebrating father's day...without his two oldest sons.

Why? Because my brother flat out hates him and I can't seem to trust him or forgive him enough to allow anything more than a forced, polite conversation with him twice a year. Happy Birthday son. Thanks Dad. Merry Christmas son. Merry Christmas Dad.

Why can't I forgive this man?

To answer your question, Al. I have trouble forgiving myself the fact that I can not forgive the man that I loved more than any other. I can't hold him, talk to him, share my life and family with him. I can't watch him grow old, allow him to watch me grow into a man. No adult conversations. No exchange of meaningful discourse.

He is my father, and I don't know a single damn thing about him.

I am his son, and at my wedding, he didn't even f'ing recognize me.

He doesn't know me. Doesn't know my kids. Doesn't know my wife.

Doesn't know about the journal, my job...doesn't know how my inspiration for parenting is to do everything DIFFERENT than he did in the later years of their marriage.

He doesn't know that I cry for him. He doesn't know that I miss him. He doesn't know that I have mourned his loss the way a child mourns death.

My children will NEVER have to question my love. Never have to question my beliefs, my morals, my opinions, or even my tastes. They will know me. I will know and love them.

And the end of every day, they will go to bed knowing that no matter what in the hell life is doing to them, there is one man who will never turn their back on them.

I on the other hand.....

and THAT, my dear friends....


was what I WANTED to write in my journal yesterday. I need my journal more than I ever imagined.

Damn...I hate being angry.

It simply does not suit me.

G'night everyone. Show's over.

Bob And If I Die Before I Wake


-- Bob (and_if_I_die@hotmail.com), June 19, 2000.

oh I do so think forgiveness is the key to just about everything. i forgive others pretty easily (sometimes too easily, when its about repetitious stuff). I try to do the same with me, but sometimes its hard.

biggest thing is when i look at my oldest daughter and some of the things she puts herself though, wondering how much is because i didn't get her out a little sooner from my first marriage. she doesn't remember, but i think it had an effect, and that's pretty unforgiveable.

and with bob's comments in mind... sometimes there's a part of me that hasn't forgiven me for whatever it was that wasn't good enough for my parents to want to be a part of my life. the rest of me just wishes i knew what that was.

-- Lynda B. (lyndacat@bigfoot.com), June 20, 2000.

I posted into my diary tonight before I saw your question Al. It deals with the thing I find hard to forgive myself for. And it entails the inability to make amends to one who has passed on.

url: http://bastion.diaryland.com/165.html

If it is worth anyones time and trouble.

-- Denver doug (ionoi@webtv.net), June 20, 2000.

I guess there is no feel-good, touchy-feely response to this one, is there?

I regret not being a good mother to my grils when I was divorced for seven years. I worked too hard, and was usually too tired to be a good parent. I coulda, shoulda, woulda - done a thousand things differently or better. But I didn't. All I can do now, each and everyday, is be the best mom that I can be - today.

-- Planet Earth (imagine@industrial-ideas.com), June 20, 2000.

I remember every single time I've ever yelled at, over-punished or snapped at 1 of the special needs kids in my school-and hate myself for it. Their not to blame for the fact that schools are underfunded & understaffed, which makes me overworked & overwrought.

Al, you are a great Dad! My Dad left a child for much more petty reasons than special needs-he wanted to keep all his money to himself so he could drink and do drugs, and never looked at me until I was old enough to get high with. I wish my Dad had the devotion to his children that you do. Many of the kids in my school would be better off with such a loving and devoted parent. Take care and God bless.

-- AJ (joijoijoi@hotmail.com), June 20, 2000.

Nothing. I'm good at forgiving myself and others. It's a gift for which I'm very grateful.

-- Chris Hawkins (peace@clover.net), August 11, 2000.

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