This weekend all of my siblings, with exception of a very pregnant sister and a sister living on a different continent, surprised our mom for my parent's 40th anniversary. It is amazing that my parents have lasted that long. It was so good to be with my siblings with out their kids, well mostly. The young babies came. We basically had a slumber party every night. All my mom ever wanted to be was a mom, so her kids being there was a treat for her.
While celebrating my parent's marriage was the purpose of the trip, I gained some significant insight. The final evening we sat outside asking our parents questions. It was during this interaction that I was able to see my father as a person who fell in love. Previously my dad as a tyrant was only way I viewed him. I learned about my parents courtship, I learned about grandpa Bleily's thoughts of him and awkward dating moments. The biggest impact is learning details that brought them together.
This new insight is helping me be more compassionate toward my father, which in turn is helping me understand him. This new understanding is making the empathy I have been trying to feel for him be more honest. Understanding one another really is precursor for empathy.
I am thankful for the opportunity I had this past weekend to get to know my parent's as two people who fell in love. While its still uncomfortable for me to say my parent fell in love, I am glad to know they really did. My parents are more than parents to me and I need to know that. Hopefully as time goes on I will be able to learn more about what makes my father human. Maybe then I can learn to forgive the past.
This experience reminds me of a song by Regina Spektor called 'Wallet.' This song talks about a person's wallet and describes what she learns about him. We just don't know the whole that makes up a person. We can speculate but not much more. Thus teaching me once again I am in no place to judge another person. However, I can put my place in a position to love.