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Those words left unspoken

March 3, 2017

We had a nice meal out with my Dad and stepmother on Sunday, partway through the meal my wife Karen, asked me if I was going to mention the adoption process, which we restart in May, and to ask if Dad would be one of our nominated referees, at the time I said that the atmosphere was too loud (a bustling pub restaurant on a Sunday lunch time) and we would have time before May to ask.

I received a phone call on Monday night, informing me the my Dad had suffered a stroke and was in hospital, we went to visit both Tuesday and Thursday and even with just that short time there has been a marked improvement in his condition, although the recovery process will be a long one, and none of our lives will be quite the same again.

That phone call on Monday came about ten minutes before I needed to set off for my Wing Chun class, I could have spent the evening pacing the house wringing my hands in worry, instead I went training and as always pushed my self to the limits, and realised that one of the greatest gift my father gave me was that introduction to the martial arts, taking his shy, scrawny eleven year old son to the local Karate dojo and training along side me for a few weeks, until I got settled….thirty odd years later I realised that going to the gym to the Wing Chun class was a continuation of that journey, continuing the story that he started, his gift to me, and mine to him.

Many Nichiren Buddhist’s in that situation would have gone straight to their Gohonzon and started chanted, I picked up my bag and went to a martial arts class, I’m not sure what that means on a deeper level, but it will be worth looking into this year…

Do I wish that I had mentioned the adoption, sure, amongst other things, I also wanted my Dad to spend more time with his grandchildren and just be around them more, telling them the same stories we heard when we were growing up, those same old stories, those same old jokes….

 

Our voices can hurt or help others, but sometimes the conversations that stay with us the longest are those left unspoken.

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