The memories that shape our lives and relationships.

I want to say, walk away.  
Keep scrolling.
Do not read this.
Why do I feel compelled to give that warning?
Because of the content.  Because of various worldviews, values, beliefs that every person has.
This post deals with working through the grief and the loss of my father.
This post deals with memories that make me smile.  And how is that bad?  Or wrong?
Well, it is not.  To some it will be.  To me, they are simply endearing memories that made my father, my father.   Memories that helped shaped my love for him, my view of him, and my view of the world.

This post is my reality.  
Let me be honest.  This post also deals with "drug" use to some degree.  Pot, MJ, 420, reefer.  Whatever you call it, if you feel that in all circumstances, no matter what, it should never be used then this post will not be for you.

It could cause you to look at me differently.  It could cause you to have your own beliefs challenged.  It could cause you to judge my father as a bad person destined for hell, without ever having really known him.

So you've been warned.  If you stay, read with an open mind.  If you planned on reading all along and understand, thank you!
No matter what, I hope you all see my heart.  See what I see, understand why experienced what I did.

During my father's celebration of life I asked if anyone had any memories of my dad, to share.  I loved hearing hearing the stories because I had forgotten some.
My cousins, Missy and Zach shared about playing at my late grandmother's home in the 'scary' basement, with all the adults upstairs.
We all use to race up stairs because no one wanted to be the last one in that basement.  Missy shared about how the adults would laugh as one of our aunts [Fancy], would put on this frightening Halloween mask and come down and scare the crap out of all of us.
We knew it was coming but every single time we still got spooked, and ran screaming.

Those were fun days.  Spending weekends with my father, visiting my grandmother's and playing with my brother and cousins.

A touching memory that I had no idea about was one that my cousin and brother shared.  Apparently being naughty children, they set a bed on fire.  My dad ran up and saved them by pulling them out of the burning room.
Ironically enough my cousin Zach went on to be a firefighter and has been doing that for 17 years now.

It came back to me and I started off honestly, similar to what I have done here.
This memory isn't for everyone.  BUT it is a part of my life and it IS for me.

One of the fondest memories I have of my father is when I was about 13 years old.
Now remember, my father was truly the "Make love, not war, hippie."  And I LOVED that about him.
I remember my father, some other family, and friends of theirs sitting around in a circle in someone's home.  We kids gathered around outside of the circle, playing, laughing, living.

Now you've seen the picture above of the roach clip with the feathers on them.  These were a big thing back in the 70s and 80s, and often little Park Fairs in our area would sell these as "barrettes" for your hair.  But we all knew what they were for!

The adults popped a joint into the roach clip, lit it, and passed it around the circle.  As they did, they talked about many subjects.
One I remember was about why there is war, why all the hate.
And I remember my dad saying he couldn't understand why it was so hard to just love each other.

And there I was.  13 years old, and that message just permeated my soul.  It shouldn't be hard.  And I wanted others to know that too.  I wanted others to believe that.  That we are all connected as human beings.

Now I had always been brought up with that message.  My mom was very much a love and accept all people teacher.
There was just something about this particular moment that showed my father in a new light in my eyes.

And there I was, 13 years old, learning from my father, appreciating, the peace loving hippies, and seeing no wrong in that.
I still see no wrong in that.  However misguided many may think that is.

The occasional pot use I have no issue with.  The medical use zero issue with.

And let me clarify that in all this, I have never once tried pot.  Not because I disagree [obviously I do not].
The only reason is because currently it is illegal in almost all states.
And because of political crap, one could lose everything over smoking one joint.
But I won't get into politics now.

Now the alcoholism addiction my father struggled with for the greater portion of his life, breaks my heart.  There were periods of sobriety and joy, and periods of addiction and depression.

But this wasn't my father.  
What I mean is, my father was so much more than his addiction.  I know what he believed.  
I know the love he had inside of him. 
 I also know the darkness.  I struggle with some of that darkness myself.
 And it's not always easy to navigate that here on earth.
It doesn't make him bad.
It doesn't make him lost.
It doesn't make him "Oh poor Nolan."
It made him human.

I think sometimes with the death of the physical body here, finally the spirit, the soul, the consciousness is free from that addiction and can go on to that Great Love and possibly nudge others left behind to not make similar choices.

I am happy to have "taboo" memories that instilled in me how my father's gentle spirit really did care for a great many things and people on earth.
I am sad that he had such a tough journey here on this earth.
And now I am grateful that those chains of addiction are broken and he can be at peace, and have the peace he desired.

These are memories.
This is my love for my father.
I choose to believe in the love.
In the broken chains.
In the peace that can come even after death on this earth.


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