Remember a father

Inseparable from history

When I read ” Time of Troubles”, I could not help but notice how much we are connected. We all come from different places and backgrounds. We have different stories, challenges and personalities – and yet, we are inseparable.

Today I wanted to write a reflection on karmic debt or how the law of cause and effect is taking influence on our lives, and the life of those around us. But instead I came across an older message thread between Justme and myself, which I think is a quite personal and relevant account of discovering who we really are.

One step after the other on the path of practicing eternity.

..where I come from we are all connected to them
Started on Thursday, October 22, 2009 at 12:19 PM between : justme, Marille


Marille
Thursday, October 22, 2009 at 12:20 PM

Dear justme . I would like to try something. Today I suddenly thought of my father and I remembered stories I have not thought about in a very long time. I started to write them down, because I did not see how this was relevant. 
And then I found something I need to unhook. I would like you to see it. Do not ask me why.

I am going to send the story with the next post. Hope all is well with you.

Marille
Thursday, October 22, 2009 at 12:24 PM

At my seventh birthday, my father gave me a small pendant necklace with a simple golden cross. My mother cautioned me not to lose it, because it was the „necklace that saved my father’s life.“ Sure enough, two summers later, the chain broke and I lost the little golden cross in a pool. It was never found and this is the first time I remember I felt I had failed my father.

When I was eleven, I stumbled on the family secret: my father was from a Jewish background. I finally understood why he would not go to church with us. As a consequence, I thought I had to choose between God and my father. I chose my father and never set a foot in church again.

My father was a lovely man. Highly talented and artistic, a pianist and prodigy, he grew up in Vienna and he was still a child, when his parents, literally in the last moment, decided to escape the Nazis. I know only very little of that time, for he never spoke of it. Most of my father’s family survived and for many, many years I heard the story of “them being lucky”, for they were spared the camps.

My father was a young man, when they returned and tried to forget what had happened to them. Nevertheless, the war had forever destroyed his career, his health and his spirit. When he and my mother married, I believe they just wanted to put everything behind them and live a normal life.

Growing up in the sixties and early seventies, I never understood the air of secrecy, heaviness, anxiety and depression underlying my happy childhood home. It was only much, much later, I realised that we all lived with the ghosts of the past. My mother, my father, my grandparents, relatives, friends and strangers – they all were severely traumatized and damaged. The war, bombs, atrocities, death, the holocaust, displacement, the occupation, the rapes, the fear and loss, nobody ever spoke about it. It was this big huge secret that defined the coming of age of my own generation.

Being the eldest child, I took responsibility at a very early age. I seriously felt it was up to me to make them all happy. Quite a big job for a little girl, but I took it on, because to make my father smile, meant the world for me.

 When I was in my teens my father started be ill. Today I know it was depression that killed him. At the time it meant many years of physical and mental suffering. First stomach ulcers, later heart attacks. My fathers´ heart ached like I have never seen anything more unsettling in my life. His heart would break before my eyes, he would suffer and be in pain, and there was nothing anyone could do to make him better. There were times he was well, however, and I remember how proud he was of me. But to experience him suffer like this – I think this is when I switched off. I had to protect myself for I felt totally inadequate, not enough, a complete failure. When my father died I was just relieved.

This feeling of never being enough stayed with me a lifetime. On one hand it made me very successful, but on the other hand it caused me so much guilt and shame, that it nearly killed me. 

And now, I have to unravel it. For I need to find that feeling again – the love of an eleven year old, who would choose her father over God.

Justme
Thursday, October 22, 2009 at 7:49 PM

A father or a mother knows one thing universally, when you have a child – it dose’t matter if the child is the worst child ever born they are a child born through you and they are beautiful.
Whenever you have a child you know why you were born that it is for the purpose of life unfolding and the love of the child from a father or a mother is unmeasurable.
I have no doubt your father concerned more for you than you could ever imagine. I am sure you where a really good child but that would not have mattered your fathers concern would be for his child – you!

When you have a child everything is for the welfare of the child. Your father doesn’t care whether you be rich or poor , educated or uneducated – successful or a failure – you are his child and any failure is his fault or any success is his success. A father does not judge his child he judges himself as the reason the child is where they are.

A father only chance of success is the success of his offspring. This is the mirror he holds up. This is the only reflection he sees.

Now let me tell you what I know.

Life is perfect, life is unmistaken, life is as it should be.

Every aspect of life is not the human living but that individual spark we call the human, or man, or woman. 
The people we know in this life we will always know. They are inseparable. You could not once love them so much if you didn’t really understand from the deepest part of you that they are you and time is only an illusion and some day all your lives and all your friends and relations will be together with you- in fact they are you. 
Life is inseparable from life.
You and your father, mother sister are inseparable. Why do you not see them now? They are waiting for you.

Justme
Friday, October 23, 2009 at 2:42 AM
I posted this so you can see it is true.

Marille
Friday, October 23, 2009 at 12:02 PM

Dear justme, thank you. You gave me what I needed at this time. Strange, there is a lot coming up now, but it is not painful. Just some ancient memories, I have forgotten a long time ago. I look at them and they arrange to fit in a bigger picture.
I do start to remember the love I had for my father. This was buried deep inside and thank you for helping me with this. You are right, we are inseparable from the people we know in life. I realise it now and we are healing our differences and conflicts. I am noticing this with my brother and sisters, recently. Very peculiar, strange times.

Indeed, life is inseparable from life. I just let it flow nowadays… I started writing in the afternoon, just what came up, and I am going to share it with you, my dear friend. I hope all is well with you.

Marille
Friday, October 23, 2009 at 12:07 PM

My little nephew used to tell me about his guardian angel in great detail. Then he started school and forgot all about it.

It is what happens to us. We know it all and then we forget. This is what you said:  “A father does not judge his child he judges himself as the reason the child is where they are.? A father only chance of success is the success of his offspring. This is the mirror he holds up. This is the only reflection he sees.?”

This is what I have experienced from an early age on. I never doubted my father’s love (nor my mother ´s, for that matter), but I always felt the heavy obligation that my success was his success and my failure was his failure. That they relied on me to succeed and live the life they did not have, or believed they could not materialize for themselves.

By his own standards, and only by his own standards, my father failed constantly in life – he was a lovely and caring man, but he did not believe in himself and he did not trust life. He suffered and he was deeply affected by shame, which overshadowed his greatest attributes: sensitivity, compassion and a love of life. My parents were actually perfect for each other, as my mother is utterly fearless, but there was always so much guilt in her, that she was never able to live up to it and take the lead. So this is what I saw: guilt reinforcing shame and shame reinforcing guilt.

As a child you think it is your fault because you forget what you know. 
I realise I tried to compensate what I never could compensate and what I never was meant to compensate. All that the struggling got me was a share of my father´s shame and my mother´s guilt. It took many years and I had to go far away to understand that I also had the graces in me: my father ´s love for life and people and my mother ´s courage.
Shame and guilt, compassion and courage, life does not play dice.

I admire life´s charming little way to indicate when you are on the right track. I went through the Inner City today and I passed the town house we used to live in. It is standing next to a synagogue, on a square that used to be a part of the old ghetto. It has been renovated and got listed. They put a wall plate out and it remembered me of something I had forgotten: The name of the town house reads: “To the little trinity”.

Well, life does not play dice.

Justme
Friday, October 23, 2009 at 9:01 PM
silence now, feel the air touch your skin

Marille
Saturday, October 24, 2009 at 2:23 AM
This morning it occurred to me that this is about forgiving my father. 
It needed a father to point out to me, what I could not see before. 
Thank you, justme.

About Michaela

I am a wanderer and a wonderer, like you are. I love our journey and to walk in the company of friends – to learn, experience, share, laugh, cry and above all I simply love this marvelous, magical, mysterious life. I have no plan (cannot believe I am saying this) and my only intention is to be truthful to myself and others.
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5 Responses to Remember a father

  1. Sheila says:

    Lovely sharing. xoxo

  2. Martina says:

    Loving Fathers everywhere. From a daughter well-loved who also witnessed her Father’s massive sadness. Bless these gentle men, who carry immense burdens with dignity & grace.

    Father’s suffering was the gift he never wanted me to see, but which opened my heart & was the first shattering of my ego.

    In my heart always. In my life always. Ever thankful. And thankful to you for this.

  3. Catrin says:

    Thanks Marille for sharing this with us ❤

  4. fatima says:

    Reading this has made me cry and I can’t say why.

    Maybe sorrow for the father’s and mother’s who passed on pain and burdens because they knew not what they did; they were their pain yet they did the best they could. I am a mother, maybe for me, for pain that I passed on in the same not knowing, sorrow of regret? Maybe for the 4 year old child who knew it all once and then forgot?

    I really don’t know and its all right now. I am so grateful that you are here….
    and so am I.

    Thank you both.

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