Dana has begun a wonderful writing prompt that I want to participate in. She is asking for those who will break the silence..that words hurt.. words matter.
Words carrying so much weight or they can release you from hate. I didn’t mean for that to rhyme, but it’s so true. Our words can bring death or life.
Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.
My daddy was married three times. He had another daughter with his second wife, giving me a half sister. He divorced that woman and remarried years later to a very young woman who became a dear friend of mine. I didn’t get to grow up with my daddy, my mother got custody of me when I was still a baby. I had only one memory of my sister and when I became eighteen years old, I inquired about my sister. I was an adult with the freedom and right to attempt to contact her. My daddy gave his blessing for me to find her, but asked not to be mentioned out of fear that her mother would not be kind to me or him. (long story)
I went to the DA’s office, the child support division, to leave a birthday card for my sister, who I was pretty sure didn’t even know I existed. Many months later I received a call, “Hi, is this Lisa? I’m Heidi, your sister.” What joy! I cried tears, tears streaming as they are right now while I’m typing. We had a short conversation, agreeing to meet in person. Her mother allowed this, to which I was surprised and thankful. I got to sit with her and talk for about an hour. Discovering what we had in common and what made us each unique. It was a wonderful day, meeting her at the library. I found it odd that her mother hid from me. To this day I don’t know the whole story about their divorce. I’m not sure Heidi does either.
The visit went well and her mother gave us permission to see each other again, this time at my apartment. It was a short cordial visit, but we agreed to see each other again after that. Then our grandmother passed away. The next visit I had with her… I chose to break this sad news to her. Our grandmother, who she never met, and would never get to meet. Nevertheless, I felt she had a right to know.
My fiance and I had been planning our wedding, I was hopeful Heidi could come. Would she get to come? If daddy were there? A few days later, daddy came to my apartment. He was very angry with me. He yelled a lot. This wasn’t like him. He had never yelled at me before. He was angry that I told her that grandma had died. As it turned out, Heidi’s mother thought grandma was wealthy and she was now asking for more child support, which my daddy didn’t have. He barely made it by financially as it was. Grandma didn’t have much at all, in fact, she left him with debt.
“I can’t come to your wedding now. I can’t give you away. I can’t afford it now. This is all your fault..your fault for telling her grandma died.”
I was devastated. The wedding location was only a 2 hour drive away. He stormed out and didn’t contact me again for a while. One afternoon he came by with his wife. She apologized and asked for forgiveness, but in my pain I replied back, “You have nothing to be sorry for, he does.” He wouldn’t look at me. They left.
I had a car that he co-signed for. Scott and I decided that after the wedding we would move to California. (We were in Nevada at the time.) Daddy found out and demanded I not take the car out of state. “I don’t trust you to make the payments and it’s on my credit.”
Again, I was devastated. Is money all that matters to people? With a heavy heart, I decided to return the car to daddy. That was the last time I saw him. As Scott handed him the keys to the car, I sat in a friend’s car, in the dark, crying.
Scott and I got married and daddy didn’t come. We packed up to move and in my bitterness, I decided not to tell him we were moving. We moved several hundred miles away, to another state, to start over. A few months later I got a phone call, daddy had a heart attack and he died.
Several years later, Heidi found me. She called and wanted to know about daddy.
“All I know is what my mom says and it’s all negative.”
“Daddy wasn’t perfect, Heidi. He made mistakes like we all do. Do you want me to confirm what your mother said is true, or would you like to know some good things about daddy.”
“I want to know the good things.”
I proceeded to tell her about his model ship hobby. How he’d race his remote control boat every Sunday and how important Sunday night dinners was for him. I told her about how much he loved camping, sailing his own 2 person sailboat, and how he was in the Navy when I was born. I shared many wonderful things with her, about daddy. It was a good conversation. Until…
Until “I” decided I needed to tell her about hell. It didn’t go very well. I had been told that any time you talk to people you HAVE to tell them about hell. If I didn’t, her “blood could be on my hands… like my dad’s blood was.” The cult I was in had brainwashed me into thinking being “doctrinally right” was more important than loving people.
“I don’t believe in hell, Lisa.”
The religious conversation didn’t last long. It came to a quick halt when she asked,
“According to what you believe, where is daddy?”
“Hell”, I replied.
She hung up. I never heard from her again.
Now I no longer have my daddy and I have no idea where my sister is.
I found hope, however. I wish I could tell her now.
I miss my daddy and even though I know in my heart that he’s with God, I also miss my sister.
Sometimes it’s best to hold off on what you believe, so you can have a chance to have a relationship of love.