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Monday, September 1, 2008

Grace


This entry is for Mixed Media Monday's Nature Challenge and also for Collage Play With Crowabout. It also works for My Time To Craft Animal Antics. This is really more about redemption than nature. We make messes of our lives. Perhaps that is the nature of things. We try our best to be good people and to do the right thing, and, though we often succeed, we inevitably mess up. We hurt other people; we hurt ourselves. We succumb to weakness, to greed, to self-indulgence, to addiction. We try to fix things ourselves, but it seldom works for very long. My father told me once that he tried, unsuccessfully, for a long time, to fix his life. He thought that he had enough strength to overcome the addiction that cost him twenty five years of frustration, failure, and, eventually, his family. During those years he was a miserable, angry, explosive man. At some point it dawned on him that he could not repair himself. He told me that it was a huge blow to his ego to admit that he did not possess the strength of character to be the man he wanted to be. So he asked God to help him, and God did. Daddy found AA and a group of men that he sheepishly called his "support group." He spoke with great humility about being part of this group, but he was really very proud to belong.

Daddy never wanted to be a bad man. He always wanted to do the right thing, and he often did. But he hurt people; he ruined a marriage, and he alienated everyone who ever loved him. He struck fear to the hearts of two little girls who wanted just to adore him.

He got a second chance because he told God that he wasn't strong enough to fix his life all by himself. The last fifteen years of his life were the happiest. It wasn't easy for him, and he was never a perfect man, but during those years, he changed. I never again saw his anger. He was there whenever I needed him: for celebrations and for sad times. He was there for me when my husband had cancer, and he jumped in his truck to drive three hours, when he had leukemia himself, to pick my sons up at the hospital and comfort them. I could count on him, and his grandchildren adored him. He took them sailing and to the fair; he taught them about computers and Ham radios, and he bought them fireworks and Christmas trees. They were never afraid of him.

I don't know exactly whom or what I have faith in. I call it God, for lack of a deeper understanding. But I know my faith is unshakable. I believe in miracles because life has taught me to. My father could not do for himself what he knew he needed to do. He asked for help; he was redeemed and it was a miracle.

7 comments:

Ava said...

Alberta-
Thank you. To see Daddy through your eyes softens the edges and brightens the colors.

mixedmediamonday said...

This is a beautiful Alberta, the art and the message. Your father would be so proud to read what you have written. Diane

Suzan Buckner said...

wow. That was intense. My father never got help, luckily for me, his parents took me away at a very young age, and I only had to "suffer" summers.

Thank you for saying this so beautifully.You rock!

Hugs!! Suzan

Heather Robinson said...

I find this piece and your accompanying description so moving and so wise. Thank you so much for sharing this part of your life with all of us. I feel honoured. Artwork that comes from deep within has such strength.

Mee said...

Stunning piece of art, and a moving words too. Thanks for joining in with the MTTC challenge :o)

Lesley said...

Great work, thank you for taking part in the MTTC challenge.

\***/ said...

Thank you for sharing such a moving story of your family life....it bonds us all to share the stories that make us who we are... I agree with you and believe in Grace.....and miracles....