My dad was a paratrooper. He was a risk taker. Fearless as he traded uniforms with his captain and was the first out of the fighting airplane. The captain was too fearful to jump. Many had to be pushed out. He was in World War II. He built a shoe business out of nothing. I remember him being a milk man. A TV repair man with no prior knowledge at all. He was a building inspector. My son reminds me so much of my dad. He is such a neat son to his dad. Happy Fathers Day Danny. Lee and my dad are masters at fixing anything. My daughter was to me as my sister was to my dad. Flying in an airplane is at the top of my bucket list. I have loved flying as a coaches wife and parasailing when I was a young thing.
My dad got mentally ill about the same time I did. Our ages were similar. It was said that this doesn't usually happen so late in life. I was about 42. So was he.
Thinking back on his memory today I remember him teaching me lots of things. He taught me to skate even though he could not skate himself. I didn't know that at the time. We dug underground steams in a lot of the house he built. No one would buy the lots so he got them at a good price. He would build one house, sell it and them make a profit. He did this so many times he paid for our home. I was the only girl I knew with a swimming pool. It was lovely in the day. This was my inheritance from him and mom. I treasured it so. I never lived there after my parents died. My children didn't want it. I did sell our home.
Mental illness moved dad to his safety zone. His work was limited. He would sit for hours on end at the kitchen table, thumping his fingers on the table and having a head full of paranoia. I wonder if he was drowning out the voices. Maybe having a bored mind was the reason.. It was so hard for my mother. She finally gave the store to my sister. Her inheritance and it provided well for her and her children. She cared for both my parents when I could not. During those years of isolation it changed my dad, our relationship and his life. But not my love for him or for me. Some of the sweetest times I had with my dad was sitting on his bed asking him to tell me the stories of his life one more time.
I have been where my dad was. Isolated and in my comfort zone. My world got so small at one time I sat on the computer day after day.
These thoughts came together to me yesterday. Of our we limit Gods work in our life as we draw back to what is familiar and give up living out of fear. I often prayed that God would redeem the years the locus have eaten. He has and is. People have shared with me things we did during these years of being in such deep psychosis. I hardly remember but that is a good thing I guess.
So the last years I have been able to function, serve and love in the midst of the psychosis. My family has seen me spend time just sitting on my porch and I do. Too much. I would love for them to remember how God moved me out and taught me so much during these years. It seems I have been sick, moving to wellness then back to sickness again. Would you pray the cycle is broken with me.
I never thought mental illness could be my enemy personally. I was such a doer and a being person. Years of searching for God in my isolation. Having it all together was a burden I was not meant to carry. I miss the younger years with my dad. Mental illness is such a sad thing. I pray for the 3rd and 4th generation that these patterns might be broken. The way we deal with life.
So I honor my dad. I am having more of a life and more freedom than I ever thought I could have. I have a family who knows more. I have more children and more friends and a good church body. My dad was so limited by these things. Many days he went from home to the shoe store and that was it. It was his comfort zone. I think we are further along than he was in his generation. I wept this morning as it was just too much for me. The voices are now better. Sometimes we just need a good cry. I have so much joy and thankfulness for the kind man my dad was. The times we shared and the life he gave me.
It is my home I will end my life as dad and I began ours. A risk taker. A lover of God and people. To reach for joy in the midst of this fallen world. To see the good and trusting God in the midst of it all.
My dad was a man of his word. He kept his comment to my mom for better or for worse. They were together until death did they part. My dad smoked until his last days. He liked a good beer. He was a church goer. His pastors always had new shoes. He enjoyed his family and I do mine. I want to move out more than I am right now. My daughter and her friends and mine have pulled me out of my comfort zone. They have helped me keep up my home. My fears have been such a pull these last couple of weeks grieves me. So thankful to you and those who have prayed and helped me break the chains that bind me. I am not giving up. Surrendered more and more pain in this last psychosis than ever before. So desperate and so loved by you, God and others make it worth it all. This has been my quickest recovery ever. I am no giant. But I have had many in my past to fight. I am not strong but the love of God and my friends and family in my weakness is a beautiful humbling thing I never expected and didn't comes easy for me.
Thank you for washing my feet. My dad was a great shoe salesman. He met no stranger. I am so thankful this Fathers Day for the man my dad was to me and my sister. To a community he loved so very much.