Friday, July 1, 2016

Mourning the Death of a Friend

A childhood friend of mine recently passed away and I am sorry that we did not have that "final conversation."  Over the years and miles we managed to talk; not text or email - something that we thought impersonal.  My friend and I knew how to use a telephone, long before phones became smarter than they really need to be.  But the calls became infrequent and he passed on, long before his time.  But he was a good man.  

As we grew older, the conversations became one sided; he talked and I listened, almost as if I was his shrink.  He constantly talked about his life, childhood, and his parents.  Now let me say this about his parents, two people that I knew:  if two people could represent what douche bags and twat goblins were, they were the living color picture poster couple.  They were at the least, a very emotionally cold pair.  To my friend's credit, he never blamed them for his failures, but and rightly so, he never gave them credit for his few successes.  He told me more than once - Terry, if you want to get even with your parents, go out and make more money, get more education, and just do more things than sitting around  watching television.  That is hard to argue with.  But the coldness is something a child should not have to endure.  

As my friend told me, he had an eye opening encounter with his mommy and daddy dearest when he was 32 years old.  The short line - he walked into his childhood home when his parents were neck deep in an argument.  This was the first time that my friend ever saw his parents exchanging emotion; too bad it was all negative.  He waited for what he believed to be the right moment.  Then he asked  why they never showed him any loving attention or for that matter, why did they never said to him, I love you.  His father's response was swift and yet typical of this cold man.

The ice man told his son that actions speak louder than words, implying that I love you never needs to be spoken, provided the action is correct.  So my intrepid pal takes the next step and asks daddy what they did for him that said, I love you.  The old man's reply was priceless; I can still hear the trembling in my friend's voice when he told me what daddy said - we gave you a nice house to live in, put food in your belly, and clothed you.  This is love in action and no words are needed.  Then, my friend said to me - state run orphanages and prisons do the same thing, but I don't think they call it love.  

There were many things that my old friend told me, some of which I witnessed first hand as a youngster.  But my friend did not pass on as a failure in life.  On the contrary, he was a strong individual, a principled and ethical man who was steadfast with family and friends.  He did not make promises; he gave you his word.  And, his word was good as gold.  He died debt free, while giving many things to his family and friends.  He died a good man, but I wonder if he died knowing that he was loved.

For a fact, this man loved his family and children; I am just one witness to his action and his words, I love you, something he told his kids over and over again.  He was determined not to repeat his parents' emptiness.  But does one's love for others fill the personal void created in childhood?  Personally I do not know.  But I do know this ...

Children need to know that their parents love them, starting from day one.  They need to hear it and also feel it physically and emotionally.  I do not care if you follow a Monotheistic religion, are a neo-pagan, or Asatruar/Heathen.  But do not confuse my words.  I am not telling you to spoil your kids rotten, just love them.  If nothing else, give them that.  And remember, orphanages and prisons provide food, clothing, shelter but nothing else. Loving parents give much more.

                                                   Copyright @2016 Terry Unger

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