I spent years of my life wanting to take revenge on my father because he abandoned me when I needed him the most. When life gave me the chance to do it, I thought twice.
One day I opened the door and I saw someone I didn’t expect. It was my dad. I hadn’t seen him for ages. In fact, I didn’t want to.
“Hi, son. I’m sorry to come like this. I tried to call you but you didn’t answer your phone,” he told me.
“Yeah, what do you want?”
“I was wondering if maybe I could stay with you… I don’t have a place right now, so…”
You can stay. But you have to pay rent.”
“But I don’t have any money at all… and you’re the only person who can help me.”
“I don’t care,” I said, feeling my heart tighten. “You can live on the street. I wish God had taken you instead of mom!”
I slammed the door and my wife was just behind me. She was pissed with what just happened but she had no idea what I went through with this man. She pushed me to tell her, so I did.
It all started when I turned 18. My mom had passed away 2 years before that, so I think my dad was still adapting to taking both roles. He prepared a surprise birthday party and everything. After we celebrated, he asked me what I was planning to do with my living situation and I was like, what the heck?
.He told me I was an adult and if I wanted to stay with him in the house, I needed to pay some kind of rent. I was so angry. Pay rent? To my own father?! What’s wrong with him?
He continued with his argument saying that was normal and I had to grow up. When I told him I’d rather live in a dorm in college than pay him rent, he said he couldn’t afford college and I had to pay for it myself. That I should either get a job or a loan.
“I felt betrayed, Julie. I didn’t expect that. That’s why I left,” I told my wife.
Julie said my father reached out to her a few days earlier and that she gave him our address. That’s right, she didn’t tell me anything either…
And then, she suggested I forgive my father. “It’s been years,” she said.
But no. I wasn’t ready. I didn’t want to forgive him. He was the one who threw me out like some kind of stray dog. “No, Julie, I work 24/7 to at least, eat normally. And he? He just abandoned me! No forgiveness!” I told her.
“Come on, honey, he’s your father!”
“So what? You don’t know! You don’t understand… Only my mom truly loved me. And she would have never allowed him to kick me out of my own house and…
.Nick,” Julie interrupted me, “do you know your father’s side of the story? I mean you lost your mom but he lost his wife… Have you thought about how this affected him as well?”
“You know what? THAT’S ENOUGH!” I shouted, “I don’t want to hear it!! I’m done…”
Julie almost burst into tears. We barely fought and I knew she was trying to help me. I decided to get some fresh air and went for a walk.
When I passed by some benches, I couldn’t believe my eyes. I spotted a man sleeping on one but I thought it was a hobo. But I looked a second time and I knew I knew him from somewhere… it was my dad!
“Dad, wake up! Are you OK?”
He woke up straight away, “Nick, is that you?!”
“Yes, dad, I’m really sorry! I just…”
“I just wanted you to do good in life and…”
“Shh, easy dad, that’s okay, that’s okay.”
He burst into tears. “I thought if you had to pay rent then maybe… maybe you would move on. I wanted to help you, son. You were just sitting on the couch. You weren’t doing anything.” He continued, visibly emotional, “I wanted to motivate you to get a job and live your life.”
“I know I couldn’t pay for your college because I invested the money into my business and… I was gonna give the business to you. But I lost everything, Nick
I finally understood what Julie meant. His part of the story. Everything he did was with good intentions. So I couldn’t leave him like that. I knew I was the only person he had left.
“No, dad,” I replied. “If it wasn’t for you, I would have stayed on the couch and achieved nothing. You pushed me for good and I needed to get out of my comfort zone.”
“Yes, that’s what I wanted, Nick.”
“I know, dad. But I didn’t see it that way. I thought you betrayed me. But because you did what you did, now I have a great job and a beloved family. And that’s all thanks to you!”
“I know I did a lot of things… I know I hurt you, son. Can you forgive me?”
“No, it’s you who should forgive me, dad!” Suddenly, I felt something shifting inside of me. I had been practicing meditation a lot and one of them was about forgiveness. I could never truly forgive my father before, but that day, I did it. Finally
.“I’ve held this anger for so many years… And I’ve tried different things to get rid of it. But now I understand… I was wrong.” I stood up and took him by the hand. “Let’s go home, dad. We have a lot to talk about…”
“Thank you, son. I love you! I’ve always loved you!”
“You’ll be a grandfather!”
“Wait, what? Is Julie pregnant?!”