Don't know what a Divine Masculine looks like? Come take a look at my experience...
Updated: Dec 20, 2019
I really feel like writing. I have wanted to write for the past 2 months but things got really complicated and I had the wind knocked out of me more than once in that time. In fact, this whole year has been a huge challenge physically, mentally and spiritually.
My dad was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in December 2018. He had surgery to remove the tumor the following February. It was major surgery, to be sure. Look up “esophojectomy”, if you’re curious. Through the winter, his recovery was going well. We were all so encouraged when we learned that the cancer did not spread and he wouldn’t be needing chemo or radiation. But in May he started having problems with pneumonia and that later triggered a heart attack – a big one. He happened to be in the hospital (getting treated for the on-going pneumonia) when it happened. The amazing response and care of the hospital staff at the Cleveland Clinic saved his life – if only for a short while.
You see, my dad knew the end was near after his heart attack and he made sure to address this “knowing” with each of us in the family who were able to visit. He discussed his financial arrangements with my brother and expressed his love and comfort for my mother. One afternoon I took my daughter in to visit with him. He had been asking her to share her artwork with him. She is a talented digital artist and he was very curious to see her work after I had been telling him all about it. She grabbed her iPad and we drove across town for a visit in his hospital room. He was so pleased not only to see her but to finally see her beautiful drawings. We could see that he was in pain, was having trouble breathing and feeling exhausted.
At one point in the conversation, he looked at me very soberly and said in a serious yet very calm tone. “No matter what happens, I’m okay.” What a testament of his life, faith and trust in what was to come! “I’m okay”, he said. I cherish that moment in my memory.
My father had a deep faith. His own father had aspired to be a Lutheran pastor, but those plans were curtailed by his family’s desires for his career path. But that didn’t daunt his efforts of growing and sharing his faith and encourage that kind of learning in his own children. And my parents did the same for my sister, brother and me.
I don’t remember very many conversations with my dad that were specifically centered around faith – those mostly popped up with my mom. However, my dad lived his faith by example. In his younger years he was often involved in community projects through the Jaycees and Kiwanis and served as President of both those organizations and on the church council, as well. What stands out most in my mind is how he treated my mother over the years – and in more recent times - my son and my niece.
He and my mom were married for 60 years. He died just 2 months shy of their 61st. They had plenty of ups and downs but managed to walk through every bit of it together becoming stronger and still in love. In fact, I was delighted to learn a few years ago that my mom has a shoebox or two full of love letters that he had written her – many of them were from years past but even in recent years, as they got older, he was still writing her beautiful notes to express his love and devotion.
When my ex-husband passed away unexpectedly a few years ago, my father took up the slack of a missing masculine presence in the lives of my children. What really touched my soul was when he offered to take my son driving so he could practice for his driver’s license exam. Twice a week he and my son would drive all over creation for an hour or more, enjoying each other’s company and working toward a common goal. He would also help me shuttle my son to and from school and always got a kick out the answers he’d get when he asked him the very simple question, “What happened in school today?”. Inevitably, I'd get a phone call later in the week where he would share some of the sillier answers he'd get or he'd just check in if he had any concerns.
The kicker is what happened AFTER his death and it came in the form of a birthday gift he had chosen for my niece.
My niece has many spiritual gifts and has worked hard to understand them and use them to help others. Her own journey went into high gear after being severely injured in a car accident over 10 years ago and finding a path toward healing by using Reiki and ultimately becoming a Reiki master. Being an energetic healer is not always the easiest path in life. There are plenty of obstacles you face in the form of doubt and ridicule from others. But Jennie always received encouragement from my folks. At the end of my father’s life, the beauty of his belief in all of us appeared in his choice of a gift for her birthday. In fact, my mother recalls that he picked it out himself when they were out shopping together and he insisted that it was the perfect choice for her. When she opened it, it had us all in tears. It was a wall hanging that read, “She believed she could, so she did.” His support was unwavering - always and in all ways.
Are your own tears flowing yet? It’s all so frickin’ beautiful! And this guy was my dad! My wonderful dad. He wasn’t into cheating or stealing or lying. He acted honorably, treated people with respect and valued honesty and integrity. His life will forever serve as an example to me of the power, comfort and strength of a fully realized Divine Masculine man.
My father passed 2 weeks after his heart attack. We believe a second heart attack claimed his life. He was 82 years old.
All writers have their process to be able to pour their heart and creativity and passion into their work and this tribute to my dad is mine. The experiences of the last year had really weighed me down and stopped me from writing, from helping others understand their darkness, embrace it, give it a kiss and then start their journey into light. It’s an unending and cyclic journey, really… but once you reach a certain level of healing – a place where you can recognize the rising pain (old and new) and have your resources in place and ways for letting it flow and then release it – well, that’s where life really gets interesting and the journey explodes into wonder. Sharing the beauty of my dad’s journey and his impact on my life and my family is my way of breaking down some blockages of loss so I can continue to write – continue on my own Divine Mission.
I have to close with some words of wisdom delivered by my 21-year-old son at his grandfather’s funeral. To paraphrase, he said that we’re not feeling excessive sadness at our loss but that we are experiencing the joy of having been touched so graciously, strongly and meaningfully by this loving man. He is missed.
I think it’s important to all of us who were so memorably touched by him to take that kind of presence with us and into the world. Thank you, dad, for helping us understand what unconditional love is and how to share it.
Find me on Facebook: Bent To Balanced