An unintended gift from my Dad...

15 Jul 2018

I grew up on a farm in the west of Ireland with four brothers and one sister. I am number 5 out of 6! It was a happy childhood, but fair to say my relationship with my Dad was never close. He was a fine upstanding Victorian farmer and sure we had conversations about issues of the day or about the farm or football or cricket. But we never talked about how we felt about each other. Feelings were hidden and their were no hugs or physical contact.

I seemed to pick up on this and went through my teenage years and young adulthood trying to hide my feelings and be a young alpha male focused on other things.

So when he died it hit me as a shock that I really never knew him. We never said we loved each other. I never heard him say he was proud of me. I would never hear some of the things I most wanted to hear from him. By then I was becoming more sensitive to better human communication and had developed the skills to have those conversations. But it was too late and I was struck by regret and disappointment.

But slowly I began to see this differently. Perhaps this was his unintended gift to me to use my time to communicate more openly and more effectively. I started to make up for lost time in my relationships especially with my Mum and family. His gift led to greater happiness and more fulfillment. And it keeps on giving.

Is there some unintended gift that you benefit from? Could there be if you re-framed something that gets to you?


Adrian x

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