Last night was the Feast of the Epiphany and the priest preached about change and new direction.
(the magi returned to their country by another route.)
I wondered about his words and mentally tried to answer his quesitons...
"Had Christmas changed me?" ( I was not able to say yes or no.)
I took it all in, listening to Father's accented English and hearing every word.)
The darkness was deep outside as I made my way home and the manger was still illuminated by the road. The message lingered in the cormers of my mind, images of the gifts, the star and gifts of gold and how all of Jerusalem was troubled along with Herod, I searched the sky for the star and the planetary motion pointing to the new born king.
Now my epiphany has come to pass, new realizations and a new way of thinking about why I am the way I am... (still speaking volumes and sending mental pictures to my tired eyes.) The further along I go in this life, the older and wiser I get, the more I understand my father and his moods, even his internal motivations and how wrong I hav ebeen all this time. (to unaware, to young, and to naive to admit this until now.)
I never stopped to think about what he went without so we could have and how I almost never appreciated any of it. I know he knew and that burden sometimes left him feeling alone and moody, withdrawn. (slammoing doors and angry words.) Then came dementia and confusion and allegations that only made partial sense.
Now, here without him, when the days turned dismay into truths, I have come to understand how my unkind and ungrateful words pushed doors closed and then bounced around his head to come back to me as if to say..."Someday you will understand."
I remember how hard he worked, often with no thanks, how much he yearned for our success, even more how he used his to ensure our own. How he was proud of us regardless and how I stepped down and gave my all to force him to prove it and he did by continuing ot provide for me when I least deserved it. How misunderstood and judged he often felt because I had my own ideas and never sought to understand how much likje him I really am. How he shut some people out of his life not out of malice but because of a deep hurt and feelings he could not easily articualte. I often gave him no quarter and instead pointed fingers and demanded answers.
(now I know the depths of familial alineation and how he felt towards the one he was once close to.)
I have now born the frustrations and carried them on my shoulders and used its force to slam my own doors shut and push into another a demand for respect if not understanding. (and now I see on their faces the frustration I once felt towards him.)
I wish I could open doors that have been shut up tight and then dust off the pictures I found of you in the closet after you were gone, they should be in the gallery of our lives and not in a box. I wish I could wear your clothes, better yet, to be big and strong enough, to fill the old brown shoes you always wore, then maybe I could understand where I am now and how wrong I was when the time came for me to shut up but instead I kept talking and yelling and leaving and wearing holes in my shoes from backtracking and walking in circles. All that wasted breath, If i could hav eit back I would fill your lifless chest so I could talk to you again and tell you that I undeerstand now,
(the magi returned to their country by another route, changed...understanding.)
Then there are all these hills I still have to climb. (even though I know I will make it, I wish you were still here pushing me and reminding me that I am a gem in the crown you always wore.)
I never understood how hard it is. I never understood how well you did all that you were asked to do. I never realized how wrong I was until the tables were turned on me, and I was left standing on the other side of those slamming doors.
To have you here now, to understand why it was the way it was, if only you could say how, maybe it is just because...
Maybe it is poetic justice, maybe this lesson of epiphany is a new phase( of life, and I am onloy fate's accomplice, and later on it will soften and calm all of this strife.
The light slanted out fromt he partially open church door. (barely illuminating the walkway giving a brief and lovely soft light to the angels decorating the walkway) Meant to instill the meaning of Epiphany and of a new and lasting revelation of the Divine. And of illuminated journeys to the unknown, forward and backwards seeking new destinations, all aligning with a new understanding of the past and fitted with great feeling for the future, all wrapped up in gifts of inscence, frankinsense and myrrh, and a desire to find my way home by another route.