He was so hard on me. I didn’t get to have sleepovers. I didn’t get to go off to friends’ houses. I couldn’t even ride the school bus to school like the other children. He hired someone to drive me to school when he or Mom couldn’t take me. I truly lived a very protected and sheltered life. I spent my summers studying for the next school year and he had me speaking in front of the church before I was sixteen years old. During my senior year of high school, he arranged for me to be the keynote luncheon speaker at Halifax Community College. He prepped me and he pushed me.
Daddy even yelled at me most of the time when he pushed me most. I honestly thought he was so mean. I cried many times trying to win his approval. He made me write ALL the time and corrected my papers–with his red pen. The papers were bleeding for years until finally that great day came when he said, “Excellent job!”. Out of the pain of his pushing came a great miracle. He was my “agent” and I didn’t even know it. He was always preparing me for something and sending me to academic summer programs at different colleges before I even went to college. I didn’t understand it then, but I do now. I am so thankful that he cared enough to push me. Needless to say, I graduated Valedictorian of my high school class, had a career in Journalism before I graduated from college, and have been soaring ever since.
Today, I am thanking God for the fact that my father, James A. Parker, is alive and celebrated his 78th birthday this year. (I thought he was 80 but who’s counting–he’s still over three-fourths of a century strong) He is such a kinder, gentler yet still a very strong and wise man even in these golden years in spite of it all. God has kept him. He is a proud man who provided an upper middle class life for his family and was not perfect but because God works everything together to my good, he is and will always be the perfect Dad for me. Every single time he says he loves me still today, the child inside of me still rejoices and feels complete knowing she is loved. Once a Daddy’s girl, always a Daddy’s girl.
Thank you, Daddy, for the days you yelled and thanks for the days you didn’t. He showed me love the best way he knew how. To this day, he still does–and by the way, he doesn’t yell anymore. Appreciation for life as one ages has a way of bringing a sense of peace and humility. Watching him age over the course of my life has not been easy but I have learned to forgive and remember what matters most about him. That has helped to make all the difference for me as I continue my own life’s journey. I choose to heal so I can live.
I’m still maintaining your legacy of excellence, Daddy…and I promise in the love department, I’ll get it right this second time around (knowing I am loved) in time for you to walk me down the aisle because you still have miles to go before you sleep in Jesus’ name. #Thankful
So if you or a loved one are having trouble making amends with either their parents or someone close to them, encourage them to forgive and remember the important things. Don’t concentrate on forgetting. Concentrate on remembering the positive. That’s where the true healing begins. Choose to heal today so you can truly live. #LiveLOVEdaily