2015 was a bad year for me. I’m happy to see it go. However, it seems as if my father’s legacy will likely extend into 2016, so all bets are off for next year.
My father died on April 16 of this year. It seemed to be the culmination of three years of fights over his care, and his own suffering. I had no idea at the time my father died that his legacy was anything other than a Christian man who attempted to raise his children in his faith, provide for his family, and reach out to his community with the love of Jesus. Grief prevented me from objectively seeing how my father’s actions adversely affected the family.
My dad was away from home a lot. Church twice on Sunday, prayer meetings Wednesday, visiting nursing homes, a rescue mission, partnering with a charitable arm of his employer, and serving as a deacon in the church; all of these activities kept him busy.
I had an online spat with my brother back on Veteran’s Day. it was a misunderstanding on both of our parts, but he told me he was done with me, and sure enough, he cut me out of his life. I have no way to reach out to attempt reconciliation He blocked me on every social media platform we share, and also has blocked my cell. phone. His pastor has done likewise, so my assumption is that the pastor advised my brother to do this to me. I was quite devastated. I’ve always been close to my brother. We’ve had disagreements before, even heated ones, but we always found a way to make peace. Not this time. All through Advent and this past Christmas week, I was sure that all of the teachings about the purpose of Christ entering the world, would soften his heart. Not so. On Christmas Day, my brother was the only one who didn’t return my Christmas greeting. I asked my siblings to tell him for me that I wished him a Merry Christmas, but I believe no one did. As I pondered all of this, I realized:
This is my father’s legacy. He spent so much time away from his family, trying to “save” sinners, to reconcile them to God through Jesus, that he never gave us the tools of conflict resolution and reconciliation among his children. So, I’m entering 2016 watching the scaffolding of my life fall to pieces. I’ll address that in upcoming posts.
I hope everyone else has a decent New Year’s celebration. Make sure the people you love know that you love them. Reconcile with as many people that you can. That is the purpose of life–to live as peacefully and civilly with others as you are able.
Good-bye 2015. Good riddance.