Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Birthdays and Father’s Day

Today is a kind of strange day, it is my birthday. I think I have probably written on this in the past, but felt the need to express my thoughts. It is a subject I really don’t like to dwell on too much.

June 9 was my 49th birthday. That sounds kind of strange because I don’t feel like I am a year away from being 50. I still feel young, but realize that physically, I am not who I used to be. There are other reasons the day is strange though.

As a kid, I never really enjoyed birthdays. There is a photo of me during one of my years in a foster home with my sister where I have a birthday cake with some of the candles blown out by my sister. I don’t remember the time that photo was taken, I don’t remember much about birthdays at all.

One of the issues was growing up the way I did. With the abuse there just weren’t many happy memories from my childhood or experiences. Another thing, now that I am older is I also realize that my birthday is close to Fathers day. With a birthday, and fathers day close to each other, I fill up with confusing and sometimes disturbing images.

I have never sent a Father’s Day card because I never knew my father, never had a father. Between that, and the difficult childhood I don’t comprehend things the way some do that have had great childhoods.

Here is what I know, I don’t appreciate people trying to over spiritualize my experiences. I don’t think anyone who has a difficult time as a child, or has never had a father really appreciates the over spiritualization of tough times. That don’t mean I think those people are being mean or anything like that, I just don’t think they fully understand what they are saying, or the feelings some go through. Imagine, never knowing a father, never having a pleasant childhood. It is sad that people would rob a child of things like this, but truth is, sometimes life is tough, and people experience and put others through difficult times sometimes at their own fault, at others when they don’t mean to.

As I have gotten older, I have realized, my mother had a tough time of her own. While I don’t, nor will I ever have a “typical” relationship with my mother, (for many good reasons) I have had to learn to understand that she is someone God loves. I desire her to come to know Jesus in a full, meaningful way. Why? Because my own background and experiences with my mother don’t change the fact that Christ loves her. I have realized her own difficulties, and demons she has had to deal with. We have spoken about some of those, and need to speak more about others.

There is something else I realize though, I realize God is good, and so are many of those who I have come into contact with, Christian or not. Today has been an example of that.

Today was a tough day but it wasn’t all bad. I come into work and see that some of the boys and staff have decorated the place in honor of my birthday. I appreciate it, because the boys also realize why certain things like birthdays, and father’s day can be tough as they are going through some of the same things I did as a kid. There were other things today. I was reminded by both Christian and non Christian friends that they appreciate and love me. For one who had difficulty experiencing love, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate that.

There have been those at MySpace, The Wrestling Talk Forums, Work and other places that have shown me love. From Christians to Atheists, and from the rich, to the poor I have heard from many. I got a few phone calls from friends and emails from others. I also got a phone call from my sister who I haven’t spoken to in several months.

As I took the call from my sister, she sang to me, she sang and she cried as she shared her love. I was reminded, my sister and I experienced things that most can only imagine, and even then, and thankfully, most cannot come close to imagining the difficulty we went through. I love my sister, although we don’t get to spend time together, and we have a different kind of relationship. I left home early on during the difficult times; she stayed in the home several years longer. I got to go to college, and she joined the Army, although she was and is much smarter than I. I could go on and on, I struggled for years as to why God blessed me, and my sister had such a difficult life. She was largely responsible for getting me into a church; she got me to start thinking about God. It seems as if my life has been blessed and she has had such a hard life, yet, she still gives, she still loves. If I could I would move my sister to Kansas, give her so much and see to it that she was so blessed, she deserves it. To know that of all people, my sister loves me, and experienced much of the same type of difficulty as I is special. I have also realized though, there are so many others that have felt and experienced the same types of tough times.

I had to put a few words down. I will likely end up doing two articles today because I have some things to catch up on. I wasn’t planning on writing this, but felt I needed to. I don’t know what I am really trying to say other than thank you to those who have loved, prayed for and been there for me as I get older. Birthdays are easier because of you. I wish I could do more for others. I wish all children could know a loving father, or a loving mother. I wish families could grow closer instead of apart. I wish I could spend time with my family who live in other states. I wish I could give each of you, who have been a part of my life, a hug and a big thank you. I can’t do all of those things, but I can tell you I care, and I am grateful. I can tell you I will pray for you and do what I can. Words may not seem like much and I am careful of the words I try to use. That said, Thank you, thank you so much, you continue to remind me that God is real as I honestly don’t believe that I deserve the love and gratitude that people show. I hope to be a reflection of the love God has for us all. May we all come to know love, not in a superficial way, but in a way that involves the perfect love from God.

Here is a video that kind of sums up my feelings, I know a lot of people don't like Sinead O Conner, but I think something is going on with her. Double click on the video below, if the video don't appear, just click on the link.


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Bruce said...

Thanks Mike for this blog today.
I'm 57 going on 24. That is, I have lived my adult life of raising kids and never quite getting the hang of it, and moving into a couple of careers and never quite getting the hang of it, and recently celebrated 33 years of marriage, but again, never quite got the hang of it. This week I am spending long hours of scanning and notating well-organized plastic bags (organized by year) full of photos. Mostly celebration events, naturally enough. Sometimes they bring joy, usually they remind me of how far short the reality has fallen from the promise bestowed at those hopeful moments.

Mike Furches & The Virtual Pew said...

Thanks for commenting Bruce, hang in there, life sometimes stinks but there are those high moments that seem to make things worthwhile.

Blessings to you