It was the first time I had seen her post in a long time. She shared her wedding photo, and I was so excited for her. Finally after many years she had tied the knot with someone she deeply loved. I offered my congratulations and well wishes.
Moments later I received a notification that he, my father whom I hadn’t seen anything from in nearly nine years, commented on the same photo. There was something baiting in the comment, as if daring me to speak to him.
After the initial shock had worn off, I realized that I wasn’t overcome by a flood of rage and hostility. I wasn’t being plagued by a hosts of whispers and memories. My heart wasn’t filled with guilt, shame, longing, or sadness.
Instead, for the first time in my history, I felt only pity for him. I saw him for what he was: a broken old man stuck in the mind of an angry adolescent. He would never grow up; never get beyond his insecurities and need for validation. I felt sorry for him.
Despite feeling sorry, I still kept my distance. I had no desire to engage. He is like a wounded animal; reckless and ornery. All I can do is hope that one day he can learn to let go of his silly pride, pray he finds peace with himself, and maybe even find peace with God.
The most important lesson in all this, however, is I truly understand that I don’t need his apologies. I don’t need him to acknowledge his wrongs. I need only to continue moving forward caring for myself and doing what I believe is right.
Thanks be to God.