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I got this for my son, Noah and it's WONDERFUL! It's very educational and fascinating for him to learn about so much in a fun way!
My favorite Austrailian poet sent me this deeply moving story about his own 'Father's Day' in Oz. Robert found his dad long after he was gone on a little government information card that reminded him his father loved him...and his Father in Heaven loved him too.
"Finding my Father"
by Robert J. White
Life has a way of flowing like a river. At times there are the deep waters where everything is serene and peaceful and all seems right with the world. Then there are the turbulent rapids where try as you might, you are at the mercy of the elements. At other parts of the course, there are the hidden streams which may well be invisible on the surface, yet underneath, reality is very much there.
My story is no different. As I look back on my life so far, I see those flows from a new perspective. Being adopted, I can see now that I have had much to be thankful for.
Adoption has often been portrayed as a solution to a problem. For any of a number of reasons, a baby is born and given to new parents. The child thus can have two sets of parents - one set being the natural mother and father, the other being those who chose to adopt, and who were chosen suitable to adopt.
My father and mother were well chosen. Married at mature ages, they had a dream and applied to adopt. I can say too, that I was chosen, a chosen of two children. My sister, Sandra, was adopted two years after me.
Like all families, we had our issues, our problems, our struggles. My father often worked two jobs to support us. He'd try working holidays, or teach guitar / accordion lessons at night to supplement his full time job, so that he could provide for his family. I learned very young about sacrifice and commitment. Dad was a man of few words, but his waters ran deep, and I now can see that what drove him was the desire to be a good provider.
In February 1967, when I was nine years of age, something happened which would affect the rest of my life. My dad was prone to severe headaches, and try as he might, would suffer outbursts of agitation and anger. He'd been in the war, seen and experienced much of the trauma of war whose legacy lived on. An aneurism was residing within his brain like a dam ready to burst.
One day in that fateful year, 20 February 1967, it did. Dad had just seen his doctor, and collapsed shortly after. He was rushed to hospital, and with little warning, soon passed away. In those days, children were not always allowed to go to funerals. I recall staying with neighbours while dad's funeral was held. The dam burst was so severe, I never had a chance to see him and say goodbye.
Now in my forties, 1967 seems a long long time ago. It is a time of a distant past, of memories which bring smiles and fewer regrets. And, as the result of a strange coincidence only a few years before, I can look back with a clearer view.
In 1995, I was in the middle of a career change. I'd sold a business, worked for a large accounting firm in the city, handled the finances for a publishing firm, done contract work and started an assignment for a government office in town. Everything was focussed on what I needed to do to be a good provider for my family.
The government office was the same which had administered my dad's estate. He'd died without a will, and with an intestate estate, the trustee office looked after those affairs. Somehow, in the crazy coincidences life's flows bring, and through Divine Providence, I came to work for the same office which had looked after my father's affairs. That office had looked after my mum, my sister and me until the late 1970's.
In early 1996, I had an assignment to look at various records to enable the trust office to comply with an accounting standard. As I researched computer files, it was discovered that they were incomplete. An historical review entailed going to old records and files kept in the archives, so in late February, I went to find those files.
As I walked through the secured areas into a realm not many eyes have seen, it occurred to me that this may be an opportunity to see something sacred. In finding the filing cabinets I needed for my research (I had obtained the consent of the government officer I was with to look at the archives), I looked at a card rack for White. As the records were altogether going back to the early 1900's, I looked for 'White, William John'.
And found my dad's card.
Who would have thought that a young boy, denied a father from an early age, growing up to have a family of his own, would one day have opportunity to work in the very office which last saw evidence of his father's life? And that, nearly twenty-nine years later, would hold his dad's card in his hand?
Another Father did.
He heard me when I cried. He saw my mother's and my sister's tears. He knew the need a young man had to say goodbye, in a time he was ready, in a place he could be quiet.
And I did. Holding my father's card, I looked and wept silent tears inside. The boy who for so long craved his dad's affection was finally able to say "I miss you, dad", and to his Heavenly Father, was able to look at the card for one last time before putting it back into its place.
There are many mysteries in life. Life's river flows in many and varied ways. Finding my father like this was one of them.
Robert J. White copyright 2004
Rob lives in Brisbane, Queensland, Austrailia and is a finalist in the 2TheHeart 2004 Poetry Contest! You can see his moving poem "The Rescuer, The Perfect Man" here: www.2theheart.com/poetrycontest2004 . Rob has two children, Rach and Jonno and two poodles and a teeny weeny Burmese cat named Winnie, who in spite of her size, runs the house! See this handsome writer's photo on the "Today's Story" page at 2theheart.com! (He's in a wheelbarrow, so you don't want to miss this!)
The Letter Box:
I am stationed in Irag, and will be here for several months. I found your beautiful web site and it's a joy to me to come here when I have the time. Your week of September 11th Remembrance really touched my heart and I thank you for this gift. Especially thank Francine Pucillo for her links - they meant a lot to me. God bless, FTH, Army medic
Dear Ginger Boda,
Your story was so moving, it was something I really needed. Thank you for sharing it! Cindy West, IA
What a lovely week of poetry and stories! Even in the UK, your pain is our pain and we felt deeply for the events of September 11. Your week of honoring the vicitms of this horrible act was a perfect tribute. Thank you to you and to the writers. God bless you, Mary T.
Making a difference, one story at a time!