17 June 2011

A Tribute to My Father

I first wrote this post on 17th June 2011. Over time after I wrote this post, I discovered some more things about my childhood and the relationship with my father. A lot of my childhood memories were blocked somehow and I could not remember them for all these years until 28th Jan 2016 when some shocking things came to light as repressed memories surfaced... it was devastating to say the least.
My father had passed away in 2006. I spent years just longing for his acceptance and love. The things that emerged from my memory made me hate him because I could see the effects of what he had done and knew that they affected me to this day and time...  

But God, my loving Heavenly Father had been holding me up all through the years when I was treated as unwanted... He became the pillar of my life, the comfort I would run to and the arms I could fall into when I needed refuge and some place to hide. My Abba, my Father Who really loves me wanted me to forgive this earthly father for his deeds, misdeeds and lapses in my life. I love my Abba so much that even though it feels like moving a mountain... I want in every fiber of my being to forgive my earthly father and release him from the pain he inflicted on me knowingly or unknowingly. 

I can forgive my father knowing that he was a hundred or thousand times better as a father than the father he himself had. It is the greatest misfortune to have some members in the family who leave a flawed legacy. A legacy of unrighteousness, doing evil or wanting evil to befall family members, degradation and losses of every kind. My parents had to take a stand against the evil that came from them and broke ties with that side of the family for many years so that we could live peaceful lives. The two of them decided to give us a better upbringing... one of honesty and good values. Thanks to my mother's sacrifices and struggles we received a good education too. 

Today, 7th March 2017,  I came across a short film, 'The Father Effect' and it impacted me a lot... bringing back some memories and tying up loose ends of my comprehension of what happened to me in my life. 

This short documentary by John Finch is a must watch for everyone who has a memory of their father that disturbs them. 

Please visit the website of the makers of this film here. The Father Effect film 
This documentary is just the beginning. They also have a 94 minute long film which can be ordered for through their website. 

I am resharing the same post I had posted on 17th June 2011. I have not changed what I wrote then. The healing process is still going on within me. Watching this film made me realize that I am not the only one who has had to bear pain in this area. There are many more like me... 

My prayer for each person who has had to go through pain due to their father is... "May you get to know the abundant, matchless, unconditional love the Father in heaven has for you! The Abba Who loved me, may He be revealed to you... May your wounds and hurts be healed. May you rise to be all that you were born to be and let the whole world see the goodness and greatness in you! You are unique and special, a diamond crafted by the hand of God! This heavenly Father Who created you sent His only Son Jesus to die on the cross just so that all His earthly children could reconnect with Him. He loves you with a great love and wishes to embrace you and fill every void in your life! May you see Him and know Him just the way He really and truly is! May you get to know your true identity as a person. May you be blessed and have abundance and plenty wherever there has been a lack in your life! May you be loved and celebrated wherever you go... because your heavenly Father loves you so! In Jesus Name, I make this prayer, AMEN!!"   

The moment you call out to Him, He will come and fill you with His peace! He knows you and calls you by name... won't you reach out to Him today!! Much love, Henrietta 

Read this to know the great love this Heavenly Father has for you... 

My post from 17th June 2011

A Tribute to My Father

I have a lot to thank my father for. In fact I have more to thank my father for than many others would. I can say that with a certainty because I know that who I am today has a lot to do with what my father was to me while I was growing up.

Let me tell you right here that mine was not a simple childhood. I cannot say that it was rosy and bright, cheerful and lighthearted… there was nothing childish about it. I guess I grew up before time… In a way that is why I still love to allow myself to be a child and enjoy childlike pleasures… However, let me get to the point.

Before I begin I want you to know that I love my father. He was an honest man, a man of integrity. He was very talented, he could paint and make craft items with coconut shells and stuff like that. He was very good with machines, fixing them and doing things around the house. We never ever needed a handyman, electrician or plumber…etc.etc while my father was alive. He was good in sports, football was his favorite game. I remember him tailoring our clothes and trying out new designs on us! I think I get my creativity from him! He could sing and dance well too. He would help Mum bake cakes too. Everyone remembers him as a man of his word.

He at times had a bitter tongue simply because he said the truth. And as we all know – the truth is at times bitter. Well he didn’t stop at that… he taught us too to speak the truth no matter what the cost. He used to say that ‘no one will chop your head if you speak the truth!’ Boy! I remember the price I have had to pay at times for speaking the ‘ugly’ truth! But I would have it no other way because ‘sleeping in peace’ comes easy after saying the truth. However, my experiences have taught me that the truth needs to be spoken ‘with love’ and well, I would say I’m still learning that one.

The tough part of my childhood was being born a girl! Well, it was not my fault but I certainly went through a lot of pain because of it! My father just like a whole lot of fathers in India of his time, wanted a son. He was very happy when my elder sister was born, he doted on her and got her things even if it was hard to get. But things changed when I was born. I’m told that he was very upset to hear the news that it was a girl because he wanted the second child to be a son.

I didn’t know this until I was about 9 years old. The day I learnt this, my whole world crumbled and fell in pieces. Being a very sensitive and emotional girl… I was totally helpless and didn’t know how to handle it. I locked myself up in a storeroom we had, and cried my heart out. I cried and cried but it didn’t change the situation for me.

After a lot more crying I came to a conclusion. I decided that I must do something to prove it to my father that I am as good as a boy, if not better. That is exactly the place where the course of my life took a turn for the better. Unknowingly I had made a deal with myself to excel in everything I would put my hand to. And today I thank my father for that challenge! After I took up my self-made challenge, I dived into every activity with all my heart. I participated in various competitions and did well in almost all of them right through school and college. Today if I am a multi-faceted person it is thanks to these experiences of mine.

Another special thing is that my dad would call me whenever he sat to repair the radio, TV, the fuse or anything else. I remember that my Mum used to dress me up as a boy when I was very small! I would sit beside him and watch him work. He would give me instructions about things and I would attentively learn from him. 

The result is that I am a very ‘different’ girl! I cannot think of any of my girl friends who had fathers who taught them that! In fact years later I discovered that there are many boys who don’t know how to fix the fuse or do the things I could do! To my delight, I have managed to fix some radios, clocks, telephone lines, fuses and even fine tune the TV from inside with just my father’s guidance! Not at all bad for a girl isn’t it? I grew up with a certain confidence in handling machines. I remember him complimenting some pictures I took with the camera and that instilled the love I have for photography!

Dad loved good quotations. He used to have a copy of Dale Carnegie’s book on ‘How to win friends and influence people’. When I come to think of it, he certainly had a good influence on me and a lot of other people. I have carried on that love for quotations in my life too… I somehow didn’t relate it to Dad until recently when I remembered this. I remember him testing my spellings and giving me a dictation when I was in U.K.G. It is no wonder that I am pretty good at it.

My Dad was emotional too. We would see him crying after watching some films. His heart would melt at times. I have seen him befriending the telephone linesmen, the workers… they were people whom nobody would pay attention to or even notice. Yet he would go and talk to them, get to know their names and offer them a cup of tea at times. He didn’t patronize them, he treated them as equals. I feel proud to think that he was so human and that he respected people no matter what rung of society they came from.  

I am able to understand who my father is from the life he has had to live. I would say he was an overcomer. He was born into a family with ten children and faced hardship very early in life since he was the eldest son. He had to struggle a lot just to get himself educated in those days. Having passed the old exam that is equivalent to the 10th Standard today, he applied for the Indian Air Force and got in.

If he had not been in the IAF my father’s life would have been very different and so would ours have been too. But I thank God that he was in the IAF. We got to live in various cities in India that is why I am able to say with complete confidence today that I am totally ‘Indian’!!! A lot of people who have lived almost all their lives in one place don’t have the exposure and the open mindedness that comes with living with different people in different parts of the country.

Though those initial years were painful, my Dad and I did get to be closer in later years. I remember when I gave him a big huge birthday card, his eyes became wet with tears. I remember the look of pride he gave me when I organized a birthday party for his office friends on his birthday just before he retired. I remember him complaining about spending too much on buying him and Mum good watches for their wedding anniversary but later looking at it with emotion filled eyes… Towards the last few years, I remember when I came third in the Bible Quiz competition and got a prize he came right up in front and congratulated me, pride written all over him. Just a few days before he died… he remembered to compliment me on something I cooked. That was very special for me, because in all the years before he would avoid doing that. I wish I had more years to experience his love.