Monday, January 26, 2009

Dear Jurl Answers Getting Past the Past

Dear Getting Past the Past:

A parent is always a parent no matter how old the child. And amends usually begin with "I'm sorry." Not, "I'm sorry you feel that way" or "I'm sorry, but you don't really understand...." because these are not apologies. These are deflections. A child that feels wronged by a parent is looking for accountability. Past wrongs can't be undone, but hurts can be healed when the injured party hears, "I'm sorry I hurt you. I'm sorry I was not a better father to you. I know that I let you down. I know I failed you when you needed me most. If I could do it all over I would do things differently. I would love you less selfishly and I would treat you like the special daughter you were and are. Please forgive me."

If the daughter in question is anything like me, and I'm guessing she's exactly like me, then she's not looking for much more than a heart-felt apology, but she will not be able to settle for less. Some people cannot forgive and forget without someone accepting responsibility and some people are incapable of accepting responsibility. Perhaps this impasse is the defining characteristic of a relationship that was destined for failure.

I feel confident when I say, the daughter will not yield. She has probably lived without her father for most of her life and lived quite successfully. She probably has a life full of family and friends. She probably has much happiness. With or without her father.

Still, apologies, real apologies, work wonders.



Scout said...

I must agree on all accounts, and would like to add that the father was the adult and the daughter a child (once upon a time). No matter how childish, selfish, or how many tantrums said child might have thrown (if any) in said father's care the father is still the father and like OUR FATHER must stand by said child regardless of their actions and love them completely and unconditionally. The father should never throw in the towel as though the daughter is a lost cause to hard to deal with, where would we be if HE did that to us?

The Father must acknowledge that he was the one who dropped the ball when he decided to walk away no matter what the reason. The daughter is not at fault because she was a child when the bridge was broken and she deserves an apology, not just from her father but from those who stood in his way as well.

Kiki said...

Whew. Well said, Jurl.

Elle Woods said...

Awesome post, Jurl. Why is it so hard for some people to just say "I'm sorry."

OGLADI said...

I nominated you for an award:

Cheers! Amy