Friday, July 10, 2009
The Nitty Gritty
Dear Aunt B,
My name is Andrew I am 43 and my biological father who abandoned our family when I was 6 years old has been told he has 2 to 6 months to live (he has cancer)....I haven't seen or heard of him since I was 6 (and even then he was a violent alcoholic)....I am recently unemployed and have 15 days to accept a new job offer 2000 miles from where my father has chosen to pass away at....on one hand I feel a moral obligation towards him....but on the other hand he is a stranger to me...and I was given up for adoption as a child (because we were six kids in the family and my mother could not care for all of us)....I really need this job...this may sound callus but the reality is when he passes his worldly concerns are over but mine go on...I'm torn between morality and reality...what are your thoughts?
I will flat out tell you I am a little biased here because of a similar situation with my own bio-dad. So you can choose to ignore me because of that, or choose to listen a little more. Whichever the case is, I will still answer what I feel.
Go to your job.
It doesn’t sound callous, morally wrong, or even cruel. Your situation is that where you have a longing to have your father be your dad, and to be accepted, nurtured & loved the way a child (even us adult ones) should. You are looking at staying and helping him as a way to try and mend the past 43 years. I get that.
Here are a few things i want you to consider though:
You really need this job.
HE has chosen where he wants to live out his final days. He could move.
You need to survive.
The only reason for you to stay would be out of pure guilt. But you are a good person still if you choose to go, really. This decision isn’t the easiest for a heavy heart, but you need to realise that it doesn’t matter about biology, it matters if you are real family. And anyone real would encourage you to go and make yourself well.
In the end, you need to choose what you can live with once he’s gone. *sigh*, i get that too.
But for the record, i hope you take the job & let the dream of a father go. You deserve more.
Wishing you strength & wisdom,
I'm imagining from the date, the receipt of your letter that you may have had to make this decision on and of your own. For this, I do apologize. I've been away and all mail was stuck in my folders. Staff did not have access because of a glitch. Again, I apologize.
At the same time, I have faith that you've made the right choice and have done what needed to be done. My only hope is that you've made decisions, one that you can live with.
Life is certainly full of every day situations and decisions we must make, choices we often must or will answer to later in life. This, your situation is a bit unfortunate simply because there will come a time, one day in the future where you will question whatever decision you've made.
The crux of the matter is to live by the rule that you live and do things, make those choices that you will be able to look at yourself in the mirror and really look at yourself and not past yourself. One day you will understand what I'm talking about.
In this situation, your circumstance, there is no comfortable answer. There is no magic choice and there's certainly no plausible solution that will remain wearable. But life must go on and when it's all said and done, you must live and live without regret the best way you know how.
The nitty gritty of all this is for you to be there as best you can, as best you know how for your Father but from a distance, whatever distance that is required for you to accomplish the necessary. Yes, it is unfortunate that the circumstances can't be better but that, like many other things which I guarantee will come along, is just an example of making mature and rational decisions...sometimes no matter how painful they might be.
I encourage you to do what is best for you, for your future. I also encourage you to find some semblance of a forgiving heart, a balance of letting bygone's be bygone's. I know it may be easier said than done but do me a favor and at least put that pain on hold.
This may be a tall order, asking you to put aside bad memories and especially anger. But one thing I have learned in this life is that anger kills, it serves no one, certainly not you. Yes, you may feel you have a right to this anger but again, it will not serve you.
What will serve you is to be the bigger, the better person and allow the end to be something that you can live with. You will, I hope, write me later and tell me that I was right.
Keeping It Real,