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I wrote in the “sexually transmitted disease” – the sins of the mothers and the fathers go down their bloodlines 3-4 generations post at goodmorningbirmingham.com of my great disappointments as a father. As the day wore on, I realized what I had written mostly was about the full weight of my karma for having molested my younger sister when she was 5 and I was 15. My son, daughters’ older brother, died of sudden infant death syndrome. My physical health was suddenly destroyed about two years after my son died. The illness, which even then I knew was a God thing, wrecked my life, including my marriage, my relationship with my daughters, my career and even my later marriages.
As those realizations came to me, the horrible poisoned feeling in my organs and body fluids moved though and out of me, down the commode. My spirits began to lift somewhat, even as I continued having trouble getting my television fixed. The day before, the video portion quit working, but the sound worked okay. I knew I was not seeing something I needed to see. I knew there still was something I was not seeing, which I needed to see.
Then, amiga Hope of Birmingham responded to the sins of the mothers and the fathers post:
Sloan, today’s post is very heavy. I am trying to process it but this will probably take a long time. I had read some of it in previous posts but putting it all in one hits hard. Hope
Hi, Hope -
Yeah, heavy for me, too. Alas, it is the terrain I was taken into many years ago, and sometimes threads comes back around. Last night in my sleep, I saw my daughters’ old baby sitter, who lives near Birmingham now, and she said to me, “If you don’t do it, you will never preach again.” Putting that together with several other dreams from last night left me convinced what I had written yesterday, and what I had written nearly two weeks ago, with Morticia of Locust Fork, was ready to fly. I knew back then the Morticia part would fly eventually, because of a dream. Just not when. Holding something like the Morticia part of today’s post inside of me for that long is very rough on me. The physical load seems to be lifting pretty well today. But that’s in passing, if history is reliable, something else will come in soon enough; and I’m still sitting on something really heavy which ended just before the dialogue with Morticia,which I felt I was going to publish.
This political stuff I write into is not what I was trained to do and to speak to. It was added on later, as I described in today’s post, when I was on the bus from Los Angeles to the Keys in 2000. Before that, it was far more like what I wrote today on the Birmingham website. As time passes, I see some things a little differently, or a little more of the details. Imagine me sitting in a St. Luke’s Sunday school class telling some of these stories. I did that in 1998-1999, but very toned down, and even then most of them were freaking out. I met quite a few times with John Claypool in his office, and we had some interesting conversations I doubt he passed along to many people, maybe to his wife. Even with John, I had to be very careful what I said and what I didn’t say. People just can’t grok someone saying he used to be pretty normal, then he started having direct dealings with beings who do not live on this planet and nothing was ever the same again, and his way of looking at things changed completely. Weird, there are stories in the Bible of that happening to people, but that seldom goes anywhere when I mention it to people who wear the Bible on their sleeve.
Hope all going well with you, given time, gravity and life’s servings.
Note: John Claypool was St. Luke’s rector. St. Luke’s is my sister’s church. St. Luke’s was my mother’s church, in which my sister, my brother and I were christened. I was forced through confirmation. I refused to be forced to be an acolyte. I left that church in my late teens, but I went back to it for a couple of years starting early 1998. Then, I was moved to churches without walls or definition. Then, I wondered when was I ever not in church?
Later same day brought this email from Wisconsin amigo Mark, who recently stayed with me and about whom I wrote in the the scientist, the evangelist, the mystic – and attention deficit syndrome, religious fanaticism and most other human ailments cure – the Holy Ghost (aka the feminine) post:
Hey Sloan. I don’t read your posts daily and had no idea the first one re: sexually transmitted disease involved family matters, but after reading I am glad I was led to open it. This simple minded Yankee cannot begin to process all that you wrote, but for me the bottom line is that the past is the past and only the present and future matter. There may be many scars and you have beaten yourself up more than any human deserves. Foremost, I am glad our discussion regarding Nelle & Alice is still with you. Regardless of the past and as the father of 2 young ladies myself, I still hope you can make peace and reestablish a loving relationship with them. It’s important. When I told you this, you said “they are both grown women and the balls in their court” since your sense was they rejected you at your father’s funeral. I don’t buy for a minute that the ball’s in their court, regardless of what the angels are telling you. I’m no angel, but God did send me just as he sent them to counsel you. Please listen to your heart. It is not whole without having a relationship with those who you helped bring into this world. Seek them out, listen, speak little, ask and give forgiveness. I know it sounds so simple, but I think your mental horsepower and over-analysis of issues is your Achilles heel at times. I asked if you believed there is a single heaven and you told me there may be multiple heavens. Should that be true, you don’t have an infinite amount of time to resolve your relationship with these ladies. Can they? Sure? Should they? Yes. Can you? Absolutely. Should you? Absolutely! Nobody needs to be a broker or messenger for you in this very important mission for everyone’s benefit. Peace, Mark
After a day and a night of thrashing around, I replied to Mark:
Hi, Mark – Been pondering your comments. I agree, it’s a bad situation. However, after I told you the whole of what had happened at my father’s wake, in 2005 you said there was nothing I could do. My heart does not tell me to do anything. If the angels tell me to do something, I will do it, even if my heart disagrees with the angels. Many times the angels have told me to do things I didn’t want to do, and I have done those things when my heart was not in it. As for forgiveness, I do not ask people to forgive me. I admit my wrong and say I screwed up. Asking for forgiveness puts pressure on the other person. My daughters do not need to ask me to forgive them. They don’t have to apologize. I never stopped loving them. I don’t know what I did, if it was one thing, or several things, which led to them taking the position they took. I told their mother I didn’t know, and she told me it was up to them to tell me. That was in late 2003, when she was hiring lawyers to protect her from me, after I called her to say I was staying in Tuscaloosa with my old canoeing buddy, Michael Cornwell, for a while. I told you about all of that when you were here, and that she is running Nelle and Alice, and I didn’t see anything changing as long as she was alive. Which brings me back to my father’s wake, where she told them it was not okay for them to have a meal with me, if I drove down to Tuscaloosa to see them before they went back to Kentucky, where they then lived. And they looked at me and shrugged. I’m still praying on this. A lot. Sloan
Mark mentioned Achilles’ heel. During my last phone conversation with my oldest daughter, Nelle, early 2000 as I recall, she told me what was going through her head when she was 5 and darted down a driveway to cross a street in front of an approaching vehicle, a game the kids in the neighborhood played, she said. First I’d heard of that. She didn’t beat the car, it struck her on her bicycle, nearly severed her left leg above the ankle. I flagged down a passing motorist, who drove us to the hospital. The orthopedic surgeon on call came in and sewed her leg back together, said he thought he may have saved her leg. I was in shambles.
I told Nelle, the next day, instead of going to the hospital during lunch, to see her, I went to the YMCA and played 4-wall handball. I was playing very well, and as I set up to take a right hand kill shot from the back court, I felt what I thought was someone step on the back of my right lower leg. I went down in great pain. I looked back, there was no one behind me. I hobbled off the court. By the time I reached my law office, my lower right leg was badly swollen. The next morning I was in the same orthopedic surgeon’s office. He said I had ruptured my Achilles’ heel and Nelle would walk before I did. She walked before I told Nelle, for many years I had thought the reason she was run over by that car was she was trying to get my attention. Get me out of the YMCA and away from handball. Get me home, with her. She was run over, and I went to the YMCA to play handball. She asked why I did that? I said I was really messed up. It was inexcusable. Nelle became quiet. I asked how she was doing? She said she didn’t know how she was doing, it would take time for her to know how she was doing. Except for a few words at my father’s wake five years later, we have not since spoken or corresponded back and forth.
During that same phone conversation, as I recall, Nelle told me of something going on with Alice and her husband, David, which I knew was very serious and painful for Alice and for David. I wrote to them both. Alice did not like what I wrote, I learned two months later from David, after he left her. I learned of it in Costa Rica, where David “bumped” into me, not having a clue I was in Costa Rica. He was like a son to me. I absolved him, told him to move ahead with his life, I hoped it went well for him. I wrote to Alice and told her what had happened in Costa Rica. I gave her more fatherly advice.
Since then, I suppose I wrote to Nelle, and to Alice maybe a dozen times. Some, what I sent to them was impersonal. “Theological.” Some of it was personal. Nothing came back.
A thought came while I watched a movie on my new Radio Shack television, the old TV was busted, it turned out. Perhaps I could ask Nelle to return my childhood photos of her and Alice, which I had mailed to Nelle in early 2000 to safe keep for me, because I was leaving on an open-ended trip to where I knew not, after giving up my apartment in Birmingham and getting rid of my physical possessions except, it would turn out, clothes I could get into a traveling bag, and credit cards and my driver’s license and passport. First stop outside USA was Costa Rica. Last stop was Key West, via South Africa, Mauritius, India, Tokyo, Hawaii.
Then, I thought, I really didn’t want the childhood photos back. I wanted my daughters back. Or did I? I wasn’t sure. I needed to see and feel that ambivalence, be honest about it. And, I needed to be honest about what I was looking at. They are not my daughters, they are God’s. I was just their caretaker when they were young. Not all that good a caretaker.
When I was moved to look up Nelle’s and Alice’s Facebook accounts today, I could get into Alice’s but was blocked out of Nelle’s. I don’t recall ever sending either of them anything by Facebook.
I have an old phone number for Nelle, which I found years ago online but never used it. Maybe it’s still a good number, maybe not. Her wishes seem loud and clear, though. I do not force people I love to do anything. Ever. Period. The end. I’m bawling.
That leaves Alice, the eye surgeon, who told me in a dream about two years ago that she would never leave me. I dream of her from time to time. She helps me see what I am not seeing. Maybe she will come to me in a dream tonight.
The road the angels took me down crushed and destroyed everything truly dear to me. Also crushed were my hopes and dreams. For years, all I do is get out of bed and do what is in front of me, expecting nothing to come from it, enjoying what is enjoyable, while wishing each day is my last.
Mark wants far more than I for me to reconcile with my daughters. Maybe God wants far more than I for that reconciliation to happen. If so, “He” sure has a funny way of going about it.
Next day, which is today, 7 May 2013.
I dreamt last night of Nelle and a US Post Office. On waking, I felt I should write to her about the childhood photos, if she still has them. As mi amiga Sandy Downs suggested last night, I will say I love her, and sign it “Daddy,” which is what she and Alice used to call me.
After some effort online, I was unable to locate a U.S. Post Office mailing address for Nelle. However, I know where her husband works and can send the letter care of him at his business address.
I heard nothing yet about trying to contact Alice.
Later today, 7 May 2013.
I was not clear if it was alright to publish the above today, so I took a morning nap, which I do nearly every morning. Dianne, Nelle and Alice’s mother, came in a dream and gave me a hand-made shirt that would not shrink, for a Tibetan lama. I awoke, thought, hmmm, love and detachment, that sound’s like a Tibetan lama’s path.
I dragged myself out of bed and went online and saw an invitation from Nelle and Alice’s old baby sitter for me to connect with her on Lindkin. The other night, she told me in a dream, if I didn’t do something, I would never preach again. That led to my publishing the prequel to this post at goodmorningbirmingham.com, to which my Wisconsin friend Mark had responded as told further above.
Also in my in box after my nap was this reply from Mark to my email to him yesterday reproduced further above:
I cannot imagine not having contact with my girls and know it has taken a toll on you. I think the saying “time heals all wounds” has some truth to it, IF there is reflection during the time. God knows you probably reflect on this wound every hour of every day. Perhaps they are doing the same… If you can listen to one man’s message, I can’t help but offer Jimmy Valvano’s famous speech where he said the famous words “Don’t Give Up, Don’t Ever Give Up”… Here is the abridged and full speech.
Full Speech: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HuoVM9nm42E
I hope with all my heart that you can have a presence in your girls life and they in yours. Life on earth is so short, there is not enough time to accomplish everything, but if you can touch them again I am confident it will be one of the most important things you do for everyone. They are your legacy, and need you more than you or they know…
As I told you, I consider you one of the most important people in my life, someone who has provided interesting perspectives and advice on many issues. I thank you for our friendship and only hope that I can give back a few % of what I have gained from you.
Love and Peace,
Actually, the only toll of which I am aware comes when I am leaned on by other people to do something about the situation with my daughters. Otherwise, I seldom think of it, although sometimes I have an emotional dream about them. Even so, the nap dream and what followed looks to me like very strong indication that I should not to shrink from, but I need to publish this father’s dilemma post today, and I should not to shrink from, but I need to write to Nelle. Perhaps I will tell her of this post and the prequel post. I haven’t gotten that far with this yet.
I learned long ago, in the spirit world people tend to relate very differently with each other from the way they relate on this world. Dianne sometimes has come to me in dreams in the past with helpful messages. I wonder why she, and the angels, have waited so long to tell me to do this? All the other times when friends leaned on me to do something about it, Dianne and the angels were silent. When the angels are silent, that means straight up they are okay with my position.
I replied to Mark:
Hi, Mark -
There is a post today at goodmorningkeywest.com, which you should be able to reach by clicking on this link: glad tidings from Key West: channel-widening charade, Tree Commission shenanigans, Tabernacle Church Jesus karma