dunniteowl's post-modern philosophical musings

The More Familiar I Become, the Stranger I Get


Bastrop, Texas, USA
October 11
Supreme Commander of the Universe
The Best Company in the World
Matriculated from: School of Hard Knocks and Diablo Valley College (AA in Communications Tech.) Done all kinds of things for work. Painted sidewalk curb address numbers, sold shoes, USAF Radio Electronics Tech, Semiconductor Tech for AMD, Intel & SEEQ Technologies, worked at Stanford Linear Accelerator upgrading motherboards for Beam Current Magnet Control, IBM building "Industrial Strength" Voice Activated Dialing networks, server systems and intranets, sold greeting cards, nuts, grapes, newspapers and found pets, janitored, worked in fast foods, pizza and data entry. I even clerked at a 7-11 and also ran a big searchlight for those events at night. Also worked at a zoo, where I pretty much did everything you can do at a zoo other than be eaten. Some of those critters do bite. I write and have been since 1972. I have written poetry, fantasy, science fiction and horror stories. I also have come to enjoy essays relating to human experience, the future and being good stewards of this planet. I believe I'm funny sometimes, so chuckle occasionally at my weird jokes and allusions. Very into science and technology, love logic and reason. For some reason, though, I am also a certified Shaman. I can cast horoscopes and read Tarot cards as well (from the expressions on people's faces and their responses, I am apparently quite accurate most of the time.) Love photography: You can find me here: http://s52.photobucket.com/albums/g31/dunniteowl/ and here: http://www.viewbug.com/my-account/photos (if those don't work properly, just go to the main pages and do a search for 'dunniteowl' I am the only one on the internet as far as I know.) I also love game design, starting with board wargames, card games and RPGs. Please comment if you feel like it. I don't care about being "tipped" and don't even really understand it as a function. I signed up on Open Salon so I could have a wider outlet for my writing and hope that you find it of interest at all. This bio is a reflection of things to come, so be prepared.


Dunniteowl's Links

JUNE 17, 2012 10:29PM

Why I Don't Wish My Dad, "Happy Father's Day."

Rate: 14 Flag

I wouldn't normally even bother with this day, except that I am a father.  My daughter and I had a luncheon, along with my wife, who is my daughter's stepmother.  She is living with her boyfriend, who is a lot like me and nothing like me at the same time.  I love my daughter and we have what I feel to be a pretty good relationship.  I thank my father for this.

So the title would seem incongruous, because my relationship with my daughter is, in oh so many ways, because of my father.  Except that the only reason my father is the progenitor of my great relationship is because of how awful he was as a parent, as a father and as a person.

I have maintained that you can learn good things even from a bad parent.  You can learn just as much about what you don't like in order to do good as you can from having examples of good behavior.  I know, because I did.

Now let me be clear.  I love my dad.  I love him just like the kicked dog that keeps -- for some inexplicable reason -- coming back to its master, fawning over the tidbits of attention given just prior to the next kick, cuff or blow.

 A child seeks a relationship and validation from its parents.  If it is missing from either parent, there comes a point where the child will do what it must to gain that parent's attention.  If doing good things merits complete ignorance of the child, the child will escalate, seeking ever greater upset in order to gain that attention.

A child thrives on good, positive enforcement and feedback.  But feedback is more important than just positive feedback.  So, in absence of positive enforcement, any normal child will then seek any attention, even if it results in negative enforcement.  It still validates their presence, and they still get attention.  A child will seek negative attention over no attention at all, generally.

My dad was such a child.  Over the years, from being a toddler, a young boy, a youth, a teen, a young man and on up to the adult I am today I have learned a bit more about my dad.  This process of learning more about my father is like the accretion of layers of sediment in the ocean bottom.  As each layer is compressed by the layers above, it solidifies and becomes more stable, while the upper layers still in the process of deposition, can be stirred, mixed and distorted by the ripples of underwater currents.

My father is the second of two boys from his father.  His older brother was his mother's favorite boy.  To the point where my grandmother literally discarded my father at the age of eight.  He was sent to live with his grandparents.  My father wasn't abused in the same way he abused his children, but in some ways it was much worse.

Cast away to grandparents he barely knew, poor Arkansas dirt farmers and Native Americans both to boot, he was suddenly turned into a Half Breed kid with his Injun grandparents.  Already angry by the favoritism his brother recieved and now feelings of being abandoned by his own mother on top of that, it is understandable that my father would have issues.

My great grandfather was 100% Chickamauga Cherokee.  My great grandmother was half Seminole and half Mescalero Apache.  While that didn't really make my dad a "half-breed" he was a quarter Native American from three different tribes.  My great grandparents, in their early days of the late 1880's were Americanized, in that their parents decided to stay off the reservation and make a go of it as dirt farmers in their native area of Arkansas.

I can only imagine the scorn, contempt and disdain their fellow Arkansans treated my great grandparents -- and their "half-breed" grandson.  My grandmother, herself half Native American, but looking about as white as they come, gave them every bit as much of that as she could, flat out denying her heritage in favor of "fitting in" to turn of the 20th Century Arkansas.

My dad's tale from these early and abusive beginnings cannot possibly be covered in any detail for you to get a clear picture.  I can imagine, from the tales he told me, when he was too drunk to dissemble, too lost in his cups and sorrow to lie, what a hellish childhood my father had.  Helping my great grandfather to run a still at the age of eight.  Leaving home and running away at thirteen, trekking across the country, heading west, until he met my mother in Fresno, California.

There is such a tapestry of anguish, anger, loss and hardening that it should make any sane person cry out in sorrow at the human suffering and loss that makes a person into a real sorry excuse for a human being.  Do your best, though, to imagine that his humanity wasn't completely wiped out of him -- just nearly so.  I promise, whatever that is in your mind, it's probably a bit worse.

My father had a choice, though, as we all do, to do his best to learn that the pain, the suffering and the abuse he recieved was something to learn not to do to others, instead of returning it tenfold on others.  My father, in his own way, built up a self-defense mechanism that turned him into a remorseless, mostly heartless and totally self-absorbed person.  I can understand that on a personal as well as a detached and academic level.  I understand it, yet cannot condone it, for he has absolutely no desire -- nor did he ever express any -- to be a better person.

My abuse at the hands of a hard drinking, mostly lawless man who's idea of self-esteem was to knock over anyone else that seemed like they were feeling good, was probably not as bad as what he recieved.  It wasn't because he didn't try hard enough, though.  Mostly because, once he joined the navy, he was gone more often than he was home.  His absence became the buffer that most likely allowed my older brothers, my younger sister, my mother and myself to still be alive to this day.

The last time I spoke to my father was in 2001.  I called to ask him for some financial help when I was going through a very bitter divorce and child custody battle with my daughter's mother.  A woman who, in many ways, was a very close match to my father in her selfish and distorted view of the world.  It's pretty true that many children marry the parent they are most wishing to have had a better relationship with.  Must be some sort of odd magnetism of desire to "bond" or connect with someone who most closely resembles the person you wished you had a better relationship with.  I digress.

 My phone call went like this, with no reason for it at all:

 Ring. Ring. Ring. "What?"

"Dad?  Hey, dad, I was calling you because I --"

"Well you can just call your brother or someone else for anything.  I hate every fucking body."  Click.

I haven't spoken to him since.  It was pretty much the last straw of dealing with a venal, selfish and self-important man who once told me:

"I done a lot of things.  Some of them were pretty bad.  I done things that hurt people and I done things, because that's what I wanted to do at the time.  I done things I thought were right at the time and later I found out some of them were wrong to do.  But if I had the chance to go back, knowing what I know, and do it all over again -- I wouldn't change a thing."

So when that line went dead, so did our relationship.  I had been trying really hard to figure this guy out since my mid twenties, while writing my dad letters, sending them to the jail where he'd been sentenced to twenty five years for crossing state lines with a stolen car, three unregistered guns, $40,000.00 worth of cocaine and $25,000.00 in cash and carrying at least three stolen credit cards on his person.  He'd been in jail since 1980 as I was in my fourth semester in Community College.

People say, "You can't run away from your problems."  I believe that's true.  I never ran away from my problems.  There was no reason to continue to live with someone else's problems, either-- even if they donated half of your genetic material.  I chose to do what my father could not -- attempt to become a better person than those that mistreated me.

I learned abuse at my father's hands and swore, even as a child, rubbing my stinging ass and crying in my bedroom, "If I ever grow up and have a kid, I'm never going to this to them."  I learned that my father wasn't interested in the truth as an objective thing, but only as a validation of what he thought was true.  I decided that I had to value the objective truth as much as possible and question my views, my beliefs and my facts so that I didn't sink into the morass of merely seeking self-validation over reason.

I didn't stop myself from spanking my daughter when I was mad, frustrated or simply at my wit's end.  I still had my own issues and though I failed on occasion to avoid doing to my daughter what my father did to me, I never gave up on her -- or myself.  I took the time to apologize for my improper behavior, while at the same time explaining the importance of being honest with me, even if it meant she might get into some trouble.

So every Father's Day, I look forward to more time with my daughter.  I don't bother even trying to call my dad -- I think, in all objective honesty, that ball's in his court.  Then again, if he had a chance to make things right and that meant he'd have to apologize or adjust his behaviors to include having a sense of remorse, he wouldn't do it.  He'd already told me.  So I am not holding my breath, holding out hope or expecting anything from him -- ever.

I will not mourn his passing.  The world will be rid of one more small time, though hardened, criminal who epitomizes the concept of evil as the embodiment of being utterly selfish and uncaring of others.  If he ever calls, I will listen to what he has to say and be civil.  I doubt that anything like that will ever occur.

I tell you all this not to 'hash out' any of my issues for you or all the world to see.  I tell you all this to show you that I do understand how my father came to be the way he is.  I tell you this to illustrate to you that you have a choice.  No matter how bad things are, the moment you only start thinking that you are the only person that matters and that, because you had a hard time of it, it entitles you to be a complete and total shit to everyone, including your own children -- you have chosen to exit the bonds of society that generally makes even some of the most difficult people capable of showing compassion without looking for an angle.

My dad is such a person.  Watch out, he won't care if he screws you over and while he's doing it, he may be pretending to be your best buddy.  I know, because he did it to every member of his own family.

In my case, his total self absorbtion allowed me to see what being an awful person is -- and created in me the resolve to not choose that path, no matter how bad things got.  I cannot thank my dad for being such a horrible role model that I could only reel back in repellent disgust.  That was my choice.

And, in an objective sense, I can thank my dad for being such a bad excuse for a human being that I had a clear example of what NOT to do and how NOT to be, that allowed me to have such a good relationship with my daughter.  A relationship he cannot have with her, with me, or with any other members of his family, because he chose only himself.

So I do thank him, but I cannot possibly wish him a Happy Father's Day -- he wouldn't know happiness if it came up to him and smashed him in the face with a crowbar.

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Fair enough! A bad dad deserves no less .

yet you wax poetic about his wretched soul...
so..ha..you are kinda honoring him,here.

'There is such a tapestry of anguish, anger, loss and hardening that it should make any sane person cry out in sorrow at the human suffering and loss that makes a person into a real sorry excuse for a human being. "

a good definition of os?

how i know this, though!
"Do your best, though, to imagine that his humanity wasn't completely wiped out of him -- just nearly so. I promise, whatever that is in your mind, it's probably a bit worse."

when you think u have lost it all,
there is still something more to lose.

then there is this odd stuff we can never lose, somehow..
our ability to ..what/...share information..

quantum physics speculates the world aint made
of subatomic stuff after all. nor strings..but..
information! wild.
I am married to a man much like this using his past to stay uncivil, unkind and hateful...I wonder all the time why anyone would choose death while still alive surrounded by wonderful people?
I feel it does help to understand why, it does not make you feel better but it does help to understand it isn't you it is them.
I am so sorry, Dunniteowl.
What a sad truth you share. But you've managed todo all right for yourself and your daughter, and that's something worth celebrating.
Happy Father's Day, then. And bless you for trying for what your father lacked the character to enfold.
James, yes. I understand what my father has been through. I also understand that he chose his path. I do recall times when he did do nice things. I recall the fun I had with him as a child.

For the same reason I have come to know that we shouldn't allow a two minute history of bad time erase the last two years of good times (like how relationships can end), we should be able to forgive the years of bad times when real change is apparent -- and when it isn't not allow ourselves to keep the illusions of something that isn't there in the hopes a rock will become a fish.

LL2, I can only say, "Run. Run while you still can." No amount of oil slopped onto the water will smooth out the rough seas ahead. That's just my two cents on the matter, but your mileage may vary.

Poor Woman, express no sorrow for me -- I'm actually a pretty happy guy, even though my road's been pretty hard. Any sorrow should be directed at thos seeking to change and to those who cannot change, even though their lives depend on it.

I have come to see many of my illusions stripped away during my travels around the sun. I became disillusioned about fourteen years ago. Most people hear this and think, "Oh you must have been so heartbroken," or they might think, "what a shame you had that happen."

I say, having been disillusioned is a liberation of the mind. You have these notions about how you think things "should" be and even if you still believe in the ideals and ideas of those things, the reality around you proves the notions, likeable as they may be -- to simply not be true in any operative sense.

This doesn't mean you have to give up on them, or walk away thinking, "Things will never change." No. On the contrary, it should firm your resolve to see what is in the world the way it is. If the way things in the world are does not sit well with you, then you can now resolve, free of false illusion, to do your best to make that idea, that dream, become as real as you can make it.

That is me. I love it. I wish to share it.

Thanks to all of you who read my piece and thanks even more to those who commented.
I'm sorry you had to go through that, but I'm so glad that you turned out all right, largely because you worked hard to be your own person, a better person. You should really be proud of that. Happy Father's Day!
The mystery writer PD James said it best: "Childhood is a sentence that is never commuted."
Thanks, Deborah. You know, I think back on my past a lot. I don't live in it, but to ignore it as a sort of "map" to the future is done at one's own peril. I remember being a pretty happy kid, with interspersed moments of pissing my pants fear -- almost always associated with my father getting angry about something. Usually nothing that was really important -- except to him. So becoming a person who was independant, thoughtful and determined to be better than I was the day before -- or nicer and more concerned about others is not just my father's influence.

My brothers, my sister and my mother also were influential in that guidance down that path. I still chose how I turned out and I know that, but I don't take complete credit just because I made the choice, based on the information I had available. The information was from my interactions with my family and friends. It was also the result of my turning to the written word to learn about things I'd never encountered, things I'd never actually seen with my own eyes and things or people that held views that helped shape my own growing views of a world with people who strove to make the world a better place while suffering enormously at the hands of others who wished only for themselves.

All that, of course, shapes each and every one of us. Still, it's hard to discount the enormous influence our parents have on us, starting from when we're still too small and helpless to do anything other than completely depend on our caregivers to keep us alive. Even this must shape us to some degree, though we may never consciously recall any event from that period in our lives.

All this is lead up to simply say, I am proud of my path and the choices I made to get here. That said, I still, like anyone, make mistakes. I think the principle difference between success and failure must be the personal view that giving up is the only true failure.

You may not succeed at a stated task. Is this really failure, though? Lack of success is not proof of failure, just as the absence of evidence is not proof of absence. As long as you continue to strive for that objective, whatever it may be, you are still on the path to success, even if you never reach the destination.

When you stop, quit and say, "I give up," that is the moment of true failure. And even then, you still have the chance to brush off the despair, the misery and the loss of hope and start moving again. This is why I, as a young man of sixteen, placed upon my wall two posters:
The Desiderata, which begins with, "You are a child of the Universe. You have a right to be here..."


"Don't Quit."
When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest, if you must, but don't you quit.

Each of these things were very inspirational and motivational to me in some sorely needed moments of my own dark nights of the soul. One might even say they saved me from myself.

In those times and since, I have done my best to look at me, my actions and my motivations for action and viewed them as best I might to find flaws in them. In other words, I examined myself and my reasons for my deeds -- then questioned all of that from a perspective of asking, "Was this really the right thing to do, or the most enlightened path to take?"

I am happy to report that I still live and question in this fashion. I am also just as sad to report that there are still times when, in my examinations, I find that I have not succeeded in my quest to do good by myself and by others. But I "Don't Quit."

Jeanne, what an amazing writer PD was. I never heard that particular quote, but it is well and truly stated. You never get a pass on that. However, I do believe, as should be apparent by this point, that what you do with the "sentence's" effects over time is yours to choose. I always advise to choose the path that leads to greater integrity of action and honesty of reflection.

It's not what you got, it's what you do with it, that matters.

Thanks again all for reading and commenting!
Wow I feel for you and think you did the right thing here. Cheers and more to you on that day.
Dowl - I hear your pain and this I am sorry for but as you said it is a matter of choice. We do it each and every day. Some day, when you least expect it, you will forgive your father for his bad behavior and realize it was not your fault. It was, after all, a choice someone else made for him. Hugs to you my friend. Rated with a Jali smile of course. :-)
You seem to have saved yourself with your brain, and saved your daughter with your heart. The good news here, is your efforts to undo your own pain, has prevented the pain from spreading to the next generaton. Happy Father's Day, to you!
"I learned that my father wasn't interested in the truth as an objective thing, but only as a validation of what he thought was true. " These are very astute observations, Dunnit, and could be true for many, not just your father. The most important thing is that you nurtured the resolve not to choose his path, no matter how bad things got and became his antithesis. For that you are to be commanded, my friend.

This was a very powerful read. And a difficult one, emotionally.
This is powerful...I recall with our oldest, my hand darting out when he was young, a hit on his bottom, whatever. Finally one day I thought, what the heck am I doing? Repeating the past? Stopped right then and our youngest doesn't even know what it means to be "corrected." You have made great strides with yourself and your daughter. Way to go. Keep on keepin' on...
I get this and am very glad you took the lesson not to do anything remotely even, like he had done. My husband and I both took similar lessons from our parents. While they were not as your father, they had some things that definitely needed to be overcome in the next generation and not imitated by us. Thanks for sharing this piece with us. I am glad you had a good father's day. We did too.
Algis, thank you. I whipped this out last night just prior to posting as I was finished reading so many other OS writers' own experiences. I had considered writing this sort of thing a while ago, not tied to any holiday. I kept my own counsel, as they say. Last night, though, after a nice day spent with my daughter and then coming back to read of others who had similar experiences with a father that one might say was a challenge to be around, I felt compelled.

This was not as hard to write as most might think. This piece is really nothing more than putting down on screen the words and thoughts I have spoken many times over the years to my friends, my wife and moments of intense reflection. You could say that the process of writing things like this for me are the matter of years, sometimes decades of reflection on how best to say my thoughts and then, at some point, they bubble up, like a soup spilling over and through the lid on the pot.

JALI17, thank you. My father is already forgiven for his past. I don't have any issues with him at this point, because he just isn't in my life -- and while I choose not to associate with him, his choice was to continue just as he was and make it necessary for me to not get involved with his choices.

As I said, my illusions of many things have been stripped away. One of those early illusions is: You stand by your family, no matter what.

Hah! My dad didn't. My second oldest brother didn't. Each of them liberally stole from the rest of their family, lied to us, left us holding the bag and many other things. So the whole: Stand by your family thing was proven so wrong, just in my own immediate family that I couldn't allow myself the folly of standing by people who'd rip me off, destroy my things or put me in the position of taking the blame for something they did. As I said, I don't have the notion that someday a rock will become a fish.

I love my family, all of them. That doesn't mean I should put myself and my little family cell into harm's way for the sake of some illusory theme that no-one else in my family adheres to. And if, one day, my father comes to me or calls me and shows the remorse and contrition for his acts, I will welcome him back into my life.

But that has to be his choice, I can't force it and to make the attempt before he's ready is an invitation to disaster. I also don't poke bears with sticks or blame the bear for tearing off an arm of the stick holder.

Pam Malone: So well said! I never thought of it like that, but when you wrote it, I knew it to be true. Wisdome, when seen, should be readily apparent. Thank you.

FusunA, I knew you'd understand. If I were ever to put into story form the adventures of my father (and the ones that also included me) and told them from an outside perspective, I think it would make anyone sob at least two or three times during the telling. It would also make you angry, I am pretty sure.

I read your perspective view on your father and I just knew that you and I shared the same overall principles and feelings, even though our fathers were quite dissimilar, I could relate so completely that I knew you would with what I would write.

I prefer to be commended as opposed to commanded, though. :D
(I know it was a typo.)

Rob, thank you. I know the moment you mean when you suddenly "wake up" from whatever it is that's really distracting you from realizing you're doing something you know you shouldn't, but weren't aware until that moment you were. I think a lot of people realize this moment and stuff that remorse, that shame, that realization right back into the box along with all those memories they'd rather forget and never review -- thus compounding the issue and carrying the cycle of abuse forward, rationalizing that their actions were justifiable -- and thus become justified to repeat.

I personally think it's quite liberating to realize when you yourself recognize that you're doing something you shouldn't. Now you know and now you have choice -- change or continue. I prefer to change when I recognize those moments. The actions are nothing to be proud of, but the results of that change are something to revere and hold to your heart as proof you can still do the right thing, no matter how hard it might be.

SheilaTGTS, you are so right. Not every thing my dad was horrible, mean or abusive, but there was plenty to go around. Even so, we all have choice. To wail and bemoan our condition and act as if we have no options is the most basic form of capitulation of giving up your power to choose. And even if the things we find lacking in our parents are not horrendous, we still have the power to learn from them and act differently if that seems wise and prudent.

Knowing that there are others out there who can make the change, who live for keeping the change moving forward and making things better for others is one of those enormously powerful motivators for me to continue to strive for being better today than yesterday.

We are humans and our claim to fame isn't dominating the planet, oh no. Our claim to fame is that we can see when we're screwing things up and then figure out a way to change it so that life gets better, not worse. I look for that in others and find it every day I look. I encourage it as well.

Thanks to all of you. I really mean it when I say that. I'm not being polite, I'm sincerely grateful that others out there take the time to read and comment on what I put together.
I commend you, for many reasons, friend. :o)
Thanks for noticing that.
Your avatar and an early post of yours in August 2011 commencing.
Now I know what caught my attention.
Your father has been abandoned by his mother.He is half breed,he grew up as an "assimilated" American,at a price of his own dignity.
A friend of mine has been working in a Canadian reservate twice.
What he experienced there is in my eyes an indication for the Natives being robbed of their identity and what they are considered to be"the First Nation" has deteriorated to a "Lost Nation". We all know who was responsible for this.
Your father does not only carry his own burden,but that of all American Native Indians.
You,Dunniteowl,are in his footsteps,and I wish you all the best in your life,and foremost with your father.
Bert Hellinger said"Your parents are the best ones for you to have,because you have these ones only"
I do understand your agony and your decision to draw a line.
If you like,you can have a look at Beauty 1947's posts.You will find support there.

~Rated~ for Father and Son and Daughter
Thank you Heidi, I will look into that. I am proud of all my heritage, whether it be one of the four tribes of the "First Nation" or any one of the several European ethnicities which are also mixed into this truly American "Heinz 57" native.

I have repeatedly posted on comments in others' blogs that I have seen the horrible things White Man has done to others around him, and then go on to iterate and make a point that White Man is not just a Bad Man and certainly White Man is not the only Bad Man.

Evil knows no ethnic division, financial stratum, culture, ideology or religion -- and conversely, neither does Good. We must avoid making blanket statements about a group out of our ignorances and fears -- lest we risk being made a fool by our own utterances.

I don't call it racism for the same reason -- we are one race, the Human Race. It's genetically verified scientific fact.

Thanks again to all for reading and commenting!
well put, back up there in the comment stream..
" I do recall times when he did do nice things. I recall the fun
I had with him as a child.....we should be able to forgive
the years of bad times when real change is apparent --
and when it isn't not allow ourselves to keep the illusions

of something that isn't there in the hopes a rock will become a fish."

redemption is real. so is forgiveness.

often we must forgive ourselves in the morning
for what we did in our dreams!
well, yeah.
As Blake said, "Christianity is: Continual Forgiveness of sin"

sin is missing the mark, etymologically.
Dunniteowl:When I first saw your avatar,immediately there was this very strong connection,and although I did not know you then and had no direct contactto you ,I could not remove this from my list of favorites.
Now I wonder,if pictures transport messages.
I know I have been at your post very early.I came to OS in August 2011.
Your style has fascinated me from the very beginning,and now that I have come to know your background,it comes to me like a revelation that you have the wisdom and enormous power of speech inherited from your Native Indian ancestors.As a child,I had read the book "Tecumseh" and I was deeply impressed and disturbed by the unfair conditions the Indians,proud,dignified,intelligent people,have had to face.
Your philosophy of life reflects the "Great Spirit".Congratulations.
Thanks James, I appreciate that you get that.

Heidi, if you also read my long, rambling bio on the side, you will also note that, amongst other things, I am a certified Shaman. I have spirit walked and dream traveled as well. I owe this not only to my Native American heritage, I also dip deeply into my Irish, Dutch, German, Scot, French and English (Anglo-Saxon) roots from the time before orgnized religion attempted to stomp out the shamanic and pagan traditions of spirituality in the European continent.

My father (and this is for all, not specifically for anyone) still has the potential to change. If I didn't believe that I would not have anything at all to say or wish for my dad. Still, no matter what I hope and no matter what I wish, that is my father's decision to make.

As to that, the last I heard, his house burned down under "mysterious" circumstances and he has since disappeared with no-one in the family (with the possible exception of my second oldest brother) knows where he is (or isn't divulging.) Sadly, this is my father's classic style of taking off, collecting insurance on a fire he didn't start, and going off to do some other criminal activity.

Remember, he's the one that said, "If I had the chance to go back and do it all over again, knowing what I know, I wouldn't change a thing."

Me? If I had the chance to go back and live it again with what I know now. There's a boat load of things I wouldn't do and another container ship sized series of opportunities I would take that I didn't. Unintended consequences be damned, I'd stop myself from saying and doing a lot of things I did that I was truly sorry for afterwards.

Thanks again for reading and commenting!
It is interesting how life-paths meet.
There is a lot which I would like to respond to but just now I have to leave it at that.
Thank you.
I am so sorry to know this. Is there anything I can do?
Algis, that's most impressive. I simply am in amazement at your skill with the keyboard to make images. You did all you needed to do. Thank you.

(I'm not rating my post, I'm rating YOURs)