Sad week...

Joined Jan 5, 2001
I hesitated to post this because it's rather personal and I don't want anyone to think that it's distastful to be putting this online, but it's an important story and after much consideration, I thought I'd share it anyway.

It's about my father and I. Dad and I had a pretty rocky relationship ever since I was a teenager. We couldn't see eye to eye about anything. We disapproved of each other in every possible way. Somehow, as I entered adulthood, that didn't change much, except that distance allowed us to deal with the problem better. We spoke rarely, saw eachother maybe once every 2-3 years.

He entered retirement early and discovered he needed heart surgery. For several years he refused surgery and turned instead to a radical adjustment in his diet, and started studying the Bible. It became his new reason for living.

Last month, he was hospitalized and was in serious condition. When he recovered, he and I started mending the bridges. I guess we came to realise that all the other things which seemed so important to us for so many years and was at the source of our discord, really could not eliminate the fact that we had a deep love and respect for each other.

Last week, he started feeling ill again. Instead of going to the hospital he insisted to go out of town to see my sister and me. I was, I am embarassed to say, a bit ruffled by the lack of advanced notice, but I kept my mouth shut and planned a nice salt/fat-free luncheon for my parents. They came to my house for the first time ever. We talked. It was awkward at first. We opened a bottle of wine that I had carried around with me all over the world, waiting for that special occasion. It was nice. Our first normal family meal. Without exchanging the words, Dad and I had reconciled.

In the evening, my sister and her family came to pick up my parents to drive them back to her place for the night. Dad had a massive coronary in the car about 2 minutes after they left my place. He never recovered.

Mom says he was overjoyed. I hope it's true. I found my Dad that day, and then I lost him again. But I gained an angel, I'm sure of it.

This holiday season, please, go make peace with someone. It's really worth it...
Joined Apr 30, 2001

I'm so sorry for your loss. I'm glad, however, for both you and your Dad that you were able to find each other again before his death.

May you both have peace.

Joined Jan 1, 2001
What a beautiful story Anneke. I'm sorry that you lost your father, but glad that you were able to reconcile and find common ground at last. I have a similar relationship with my Dad and slowly, as his age has increased his dependence on his children, we have been able to find a more equitable way of relating to each other.
I hope the connection you found with him, although short, will prove to be a lasting comfort to you and your family.


Joined Apr 4, 2000
I am so sorry for your loss Anneke. Accept my deepest sympathy.
Joined Oct 13, 2001
Anneke I wish you peace and love . You and your father parted happy . Retain that memory for life and pass it on to your children . My sincerist sympothy to you and your family
Douglas .
Joined Jul 24, 2001
Dear Anneke
Heracleitus (800BC) one of the most wise men that ever were born on Earth used to say " Souls meet in Hades" ( Hades = the other world after death)

You will have the opportunity to meet again with your father and to catch up things :)
Joined Mar 6, 2001
I'm so sorry for your loss Anneke. I feel for you and relate to your story more than I wish was so.

I hope this won't upset you but in someways I think he gave you a gift, learning from his experience. My father is similarly difficult but I realize he's that way out of fear and his inability to go past the fear and be vulnerable. There's nothing anyone could have done to make things better with your relationship, so don't feel guilt or regret.

He came to you, to show he loved you.

His gift was to teach you not to walk in his shoes, I bet they were heavy.

P.S. Believe your Mom!
Joined Jun 30, 2001
Dear Anneke,

I am sorry to hear about your loss. Things happen for a reason. I wish you and your family well.

Joined Oct 5, 2001
Dear Anneke:

I am so sorry for your loss but at the same time I am happy that you and your father had the opportunity to rediscover your feelings for each other.

That evening together was a gift and you both used it well. I have a vesy similar experience in my relationship with my father. I believe strongly that not only you will meet again in Ades, as Athenaeus said, but that you will also meet everyday as you indeed got an angel by your side. Your father passed away being happy and in peace thanks to both of you. You offered him something that no medical treatment could. You offered him love and peace. He made the right choice to come and visit you that evening.
Joined Nov 10, 2001
Dear Anneke,sorry to hear of your terrible loss. My late father was a difficult man to get on with. He died through Parkinson`s Disease in 1980, my mother died in1981 from a heart attack. I really do know how you feel. I felt i had no-one to talk to,but found out i was wrong. Please remember you are not alone,there are other people who care. I am sure i echo the views of everyone at the ChefTalk Cafe. There are a lot people in the hospitality business who only care about their profits!! I have not seen anyone here who feels that way.

Deepest sympathies,
Joined Aug 11, 2000
Thank you for such a wonderful post, it must have been difficult for you to write. My dad is coming for Christmas and that will be a good time to mend the fences.....your nudge will make that happen.
Joined Mar 13, 2001
Dear Anneke,

So sorry to hear of your Dad's passing away,
He shared and discovered your company, joyfully.

Remember all the good of HIM and in yourself,
PEace and understanding go side by side.

Sai Ram,
Joined Jul 31, 2000
Dear Anneke,

I am happy that you and your Dad were together to mend.

This will help you with your heart.

I am sorry that you losed your father and I wish peace of mind and love to you and your family
Joined Aug 29, 2000
Anneke, may your father rest in peace. Your story could be told by countless children and parents! You are so fortunate to have made amends. Others long to.... My heart goes out to you at this sad time. Ann
Joined Nov 20, 2000
Accept my condolences as well. If I may add a word, we fathers are an odd bunch. But deep down I think it's true that no matter what the differences are we love our children a lot more than some of us will ever let on. I am lucky in that I have another chance with my son. He is only 10 but he almost lost me last year. My sisters kids lost their father at the same age. Like you said make peace with those you love because too often we let un necessary emotions interfere with how much we really love the person, not always the personalities so much. Life is as intensly painful as it is joyous. Love is all we have in the long run so don't let it get lost in everyday mundane nonsense.
Joined Mar 4, 2000
When things like this happen, I think of how petty years of silence can be, compared to how monumental it is to finally break the silence. I'm happy for you that you and your father were able to overcome that. Imagine if you hadn't! You'd never have this wonderful memory.

I know you'll always have that positive spirit in your heart. Please accept my sympathy at such a difficult time.

Joined Aug 14, 2000
I am very sorry for you loss.

I had the same relationship with my father. For years, we could barely stand to be in the same room. With a little professional guidance, I realized that if I wanted things to change between us, I would have to do the changing. I did! 6 months after amking the decision, my father had brain surgery. He spent 7 weeks in the hospital and we nearly lost him several times. I was given a second chance to mend fences. After about 6 months of work the ice began to thaw. During the next 2 1/2 years we actually became friends. Unfortunatley, during that same time, his lungs were really working right and his heart was working without enough oxygen. Finally one night after Christmas, his heart just quit. When he died, my father and I were pals, often talking twice a day. I can only imagine the depth of my insanity if we had not made our peace. If anyone has a similar relationship with a parent, fix it. Eating a little crap will not be nearly as intolerable as spending the rest of your life without the ability to eat it!
Joined May 11, 2001
A sad yet beautiful post. My condolences and thanks for sharing your story. It's a good reminder to those who are estranged from their family or friends to find a way to rebuild bridges or build, new strong ones. I have been very fortunate to have a close relationship with each of my parents for most of my life, but it wasn't the same for my parents and younger brothers. They could not bridge their incredibly large generation and cultural gap for many years. The gap still exists, but they are all starting to understand each other, especially since my brothers have finally realized that our parents are getting old and may not be with us for very much longer. I'm praying that we all get through this Christmas without me receiving a phone call to mediate in some stupid argument.

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