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The last time I saw him was Valentine’s Day.

https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1n6gMeY2OqXwAyOICw0PHp6Fvj61qTweg
I was at work and my ex husband came to pick me up. My manager approached me told me that I needed to go home, it was a family emergency. As I walked to the car I felt my body going numb and my thoughts taking over. Funny how fear can creep into your body and take over. My ex husband  pulled over and said, "Your dad died". I had no control over my response, my eyes flooded and I screamed, and I screamed. I don't remember how long I sat there screaming. My ex hugged me and and asked me to breath and it was then I realized I was screaming. I tried to get a grip and I was grateful we were in the car on the side of a desolate road, as I am not one to cause a scene. I don't like attention like that. Then I went silent and my eyes gazed at every passing house, car, store, and person we drove passed. I remember every single thing I saw and my body did not move and my breathing was short.

When My ex pulled up to the house, they were pulling my dad's body out in a body bag. I didn't get to say good bye. I don't remember him stopping the car, or even myself getting out of the car. All I remember was a viscous tug of war over a body bag with the guy taking my dad. He grabbed my hand and said, "Don't do this". Right then I turned around and realized my entire neighborhood was standing on their porches watching me scream and fight over the body bag. Instant embarrassment kicked in, "what was I doing?"

I walked upstairs like a zombie as my mind flooded with memories of seeing him at the top of the stairs saying. "Hi" and I giggled cause for a moment I was trapped in my imagination. Outsiders looking in must have thought I was crazy. Then I was awakened by my mom's hug, and her asking me to help her plan his funeral.

Just like that I went into what I do best, be busy and forget what happened. Focus on the task. I planned everything, shook hands, greeted people, cooked dinners, helped other people mourn my dad.

My dad wasn't a great dad. He was an abusive alcoholic who did horrendous things to me while intoxicated. But he was my dad. I remember as a kid wishing and praying for bad things to happen to him because I was so scared of him. As a toddler he was my everything, but once I hit eight years old he changed with the drink and so did my love for him.

So why was I so hurt? Because in the same way he changed when I was eight, he changed again when I was in my teens. He went to church one day as he was a regular church goer but on this one day he read the bible and the words jumped at him and gripped his soul.  He had to sit down as he felt that God spoke directly to him. It was the scripture in Ephesians 5:18
Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit,
And just like that his journey began. It wasn't overnight, it was a process. Years of depression for what he saw in himself, what he did to others. It was like he finally saw what he was doing to his family and he wanted to make it right. He was trying so hard to make things right pleading for a second chance.  The problem was that we found it hard to forgive him. 
I can’t help but think Jonah. A prophet, a man who heard the voice of God and did what God instructed him to do. Except this one time. I don’t know the backstory, but he disliked the people of Nineveh. Jonah knew God would shed mercy on them if he warned them of Gods plans. So he refused to tell them, and he ran initially but in the end, he warned the people to repent. God forgave them but not Jonah had a hard time accepting that God would shed mercy on them. I wish I knew why? Do you think they did something horrendous to him and that’s why he didn’t want God to forgive them? 
Reading that story as a kid I thought, “wow what a stubborn prophet” but as an adult it hit me. I was being like Jonah, and God responded with, “ is it right for you to be angry” My season of bitterness and unrelenting to God was hell, like living in the belly of a spoiled fish. 

Long story short, I did forgive him. Hating him was killing me. So one day I gained the courage to walk over to him and say it all outloud. "Papi, I want to talk to you...... "
I can't remember the exact thing I said, but I remember the ending.
"I forgive you"

And just like that a burden that I had carried my entire life was lifted. I walked away lighter and life changed. Once I let it go, I stopped looking at him as my enemy. We were finally reconnecting. I had the dad of my dreams. He wasn't perfect but he wasn't that guy who tormented me anymore. He was romancing my mom. It was surreal/yet short lived. But when I reflect, I reflect on that. The greats! The laughs! The love! The forgivness that changed it all, just in time too, because I lost him shortly after. 
Last time I saw him was Valentine’s Day, 2/14/2000. I interrupted my parents Valentine’s Day with both of my kids. I literally barged into their bedroom and my kids crawled in the bed with them. We begged my parents to stop kissing and my mom got up and sat with me in the kitchen talking about how romantic my dad was that day while my dad cuddled with the kids watching terminator. Lol 

Such a sweet last memory! It scares me to think,  that my unforgiveness could have robbed me of it. 

Are you a Jonah? Are you upset that God wants to change someone you hate to love? 
Is it right for you to be upset?
I had a happy ending but I know not many do or will. Will you trust God anyway? 

Leave me a comment, share with me your thoughts. 



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