My dad has dementia. For the last three, years I’ve watched him slowly decline. Yet our connection is as strong and beautiful as ever—even more so in some ways. It’s as though all the peripheral layers of our relationship, along with all the “stuff” of those layers, have been peeled away. What’s left is our huge heart connection to each other.
A couple of weeks ago, at the end of my visit with him, I told him it was time for me to leave. He got very sad, as he usually does. Then I remembered I had something I wanted to tell him. It was something that had come to me earlier in the day as I was driving to see him. For some reason, I started thinking about my time with my dad when I was young. For most of my life, I’ve considered my dad a workaholic during my growing up years and an absentee father. But as I was in the car driving, I started to think about all the ways my dad was there for me and all the ways he did show his love. I realized I’d never acknowledged him for that. I made a commitment to myself to do that during this visit.
So there we were, near the door of his assisted living home, and I reconnected with what I wanted to tell him, feeling incredibly grateful that I’d remembered. I knelt down to his level (he’s in a wheelchair), looked in his eyes, and thanked him for all the things he’s done for me, especially in my early life. I acknowledged him for working so hard to support me and our family, and what a good job he did of that. I thanked him for providing me with food, clothes, a home, music and dance lessons, putting me through college, and so much more. I told him again how much I love him and what a great dad he’s been to me. He puffed up with pride, and thanked me, and got very happy.
There was another resident of his home sitting nearby, a Native American man who’s normally very quiet. After hearing me shower my dad with gratitude, he spoke right up, telling about his dad, how he’d been in the military and all the jobs he’d had. It was so beautiful, my heart was swelling even more. I responded, saying that my dad had been in the military, too (which I know my dad is still very proud of).
Then my dad took on his loving dad role, saying, “OK, that’s enough. It’s time for you to go now. Have a safe drive home.” I’m starting to cry even as I write this, feeling how much I love him and how loved I feel by him.
I’m so glad I’ve gotten to this place, where I really feel how much I’ve been loved, in so many ways, in so many relationships. It was completely wonderful to tell my father all the ways that he, in particular, contributed to this knowingness within me—that I am loved, that I have always been loved. Even if he wasn’t “perfect” in the ways I wanted, I have been loved.
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Mercedes Kirkel is an award-winning author and spiritual channel, bringing forth messages and instruction from Mary Magdalene and other Beings of Light. Her new book, Mary Magdalene Beckons: Join the River of Love is available atwww.marymagdalenebeckons.com. All messages and practices are universal and are not affiliated with any religion.
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