Welcome to Following the Whispers blog

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here whenever I feel the need. This blog was created at the time my memoir came out, in February, 2009. Its motto was: creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair. Now, my focus is sharing this journey we call life.

“Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking it.” Naomi Wolf

“We are called human beings, not human doings.” Wes Nisker, Buddhist teacher

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs…(And) if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Theodore Roosevelt

Friday, July 16, 2010

Giving back

Today, my singing group is performing at the VA hospital here in Albuquerque. After moving Dad here in 2001, I spent a lot of time there. Because Dad was a World War II vet, he received all his health care from the Veteran's Administration. I have nothing but admiration for the folks there who dedicate themselves to caring for our military personnel. My dad has been gone for 5 years now. He never got to hear me sing with a group. He died before I began my singing in public journey. So this is bittersweet for me. But giving back to this community feels good.

My father didn't have a lot to be happy about in his life. He was most proud of his time in the military. In my heart, I am dedicating this performance to my father, a man who made my life miserable most of the time growing up, but whom I came to love and honor during his last years on Earth. If you want to read a bit more of my story with my Dad, check out the articles/essays tab and read "My Father's Keeper."

How is your relationship with your father?
Blessings,
Karen

14 comments:

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I'm glad you were able to draw closer to your father. My father died when I was eleven, but I only have happy memories of him.

Tabitha Bird said...

My relationship with my father? Man! That is a whole can of worms. And a whole book. As you know. You read it. Basically I can't have a relationship with my dad. He is.... unwell. To say the least.

Cyndi said...

That's great that you were able to come to love your father. Mine? Not so much. I resented and hated him until the day he died, at the same time desperately wanted him to say something, anything at all, to me as he knew he would soon be gone. He never did and neither did I. Because nothing was resolved I still can't say for certain if I've forgiven him or not. It's still tough to talk about him.

Joanne said...

It's wonderful that you were able to return to that relationship and find a closeness with your father. I'm thinking, that in some way, some essence, he'll hear your performance today.

Karen Walker said...

Diane, my hubby lost his dad when he was 14, but like you, he has only happy memories. That's sad and lovely at the same time.
Tab, yes, dear one, I do know. And for the record, you're making a good choice for yourself.
Cyndi, I am sorry you were unable to get some sort of closure with your father. I was lucky. If my dad has gone first and I'd been left with my mom, there would have been no closure either. Still wasn't with my mom.
Joanne, yes, I think you may be right. Some essence of him will hear me today.
Karen

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

My father and I had our differences, but overall we had a good and loving relationship. He was also proud of his military service. I think, like your father, he would have enjoyed and appreciated your VA performance very much.

Tamika: said...

My relationship with my dad is very painful. He is not the man I can turn to or lean on. He never has been. It hurts to think of where he is in his life and what he is doing. I pray for him often.

Helen Ginger said...

My parents divorced when I was three. And he died 21 years ago. Despite that, we had a good relationship although I didn't see a lot of him until I was grown. Like your dad, he was in the military. He worked as a civilian for the military until he retired. I totally agree with you about the VA. When my dad first got sick, he was in the local hospital. I firmly believe he would have died there if my sister and I had not gotten him transferred to a VA hospital.

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

I think it was a blessing that you and your dad had an opportunity to get closer before he passed away. And I think it's a wonderful tribute for you to think of him as you sing.

Jemi Fraser said...

My dad died about a decade ago and I miss him/think of him every day. I'm one of the lucky ones - fabulous dad & mom.

Anonymous said...

Reading your posts I realize how lucky I am to have my dad. He is still alive, and he has always been there for me. His masculinity, anger, and gruffness scared me when I was young, but I grew to realize he was acting out of pure love for me, for his other two children, and for my mother. They have been married 55 years in August. He was there for every performance of mine, and worked hard to support his family. With the years he mellowed and is now incredibly wise; a rock.
-Simona

Vicki Rocho said...

I agree about the VA. Sure, there may be problems with the system, but they saved my dad's life once and do SO MUCH GOOD that never makes the news.

I'm glad you were able to end your father-daughter relationship on a positive note.

Jody Hedlund said...

I really loved my dad and he died when I just graduated from college of a major heart attack. I've missed having him around to watch my kids grow.

Glad that you could repair your relationship with your Dad before he died!

Patricia Stoltey said...

My dad was a tough and demanding dad with high expectations for my brother and me, so we certainly had our stormy moments. My teen years were tough. But I also remember him as strong and fun and playful and with a deep sense of family. He died in 1982 at the age of 61 from lung cancer, probably as much related to his exposure to farm chemicals as to cigarettes. I do wish he had stayed around a lot longer.