Monday, April 20, 2015

April 20 - a sad day, a very sad day

Little did I understand what was in store when I awoke this morning. It was early, too early for breakfast so - as usual, I turned on my computer and heard from my daughter. After considering her message for a moment, I knew I had to say something, so I chose to place the following thoughts on FaceBook

"Just received a very brief message from my youngest daughter, "Mother passed away in San Diego 

hospital."   Sad.  Last time I had ever heard of her was that she was in prison, again. Tragic tale. How I 

loved her in the beginning.  Perhaps I should have guessed, but I was in love and she was pregnant. 

We tried to stay together, but there were so many problems. If I had known then what I know now, I am  

sure that we could have made it, together, if only, we worked together to meet our challenges in life

Some will say, ..."such is life"... but I don't believe that.  I should have been more responsible - as well, in

those  days.  As it happened, I lost the lives of  (my relations with) my precious children.  Eventually, 

however, I came to my senses, but it was too late. I pray now that somehow, our relations might 

be restored.  I know I am not the man now that I was then.

I have learned that every day is important, every hour in fact is important and I pass these thoughts

along so that others might know how much I have learned to regret the errors of my past. Today is the 

most important day in our lives to do what is right to do. My prayer for all who will read this - do what is 

important to do, today.  Tomorrow, it may be impossible."

My best friends have responded as I should have known; they posted their thoughts and prayers for all 

of us.  It helps, it really does.  It took me years to understand, a good friend is all that one needs to get 

through life.  I have so many, I am often overwhelmed by the thought.  But the only reason is because

40 years ago, I learned that I was on the wrong path through life.  We were never meant to be "loners" - 

we were meant to live as part of a family; the family of God.

And so - much too late, I want to pay tribute to that lady who loved me as well and together we brought 

four beautiful children into this world.  Some might say, we were "too much" in love to think about 

obligations, we did what we wanted to do and set the course for not just our lives, we jeopardized the 

lives of those beautiful children.  Had we thought for even a moment, we might have realized how 

important it was to take a closer look into the future.  Her mother was not married to her father.  My 

mother was married to my father, but early on, they turned over my care to my grandparents, never 

realizing that in doing so, I was being deprived of a father.  Oh, I had a wonderful grandfather - I should 

have given more consideration to that fact, but it took me many years to come to that realization.  So, 

we could have taken those facts into consideration?  We simply did not, we were simply in love.

And I made the matter worse, by not considering my future.  I was far too unsure of myself, my own

weaknesses as well.  I had been married before and I blew that one, big time.  No need to fault others, I 

accepted the blame.  But as I told my mother of my intentions to get married, I was startled by her 

response, "Sherwood, we have never had a divorce in our family."   Why would she say that?  It only 

drove she and I further apart and it did not help me when I began to consider the mistakes I would 

eventually make.

So, I had a pattern set that it took me years to comprehend.  It was not my fault, it was their fault.

Little did I realize that our actions create circumstances and if we are not aware of that, our actions can

also create havoc in the future.  What I did not seem to realize at the time, I had been getting along in

life by merely placing the blame for my actions at the feet of others.  Wrong!   Of course, I was wrong,

but I was also too proud of my other accomplishments to realize - when it was really accept

one's responsibilities.. .   I tried to overcome these facts, by working harder and the harder I worked, the

deeper i fell into the pit of neglect.

If she were here with me today - where she should have been, it would be better, but only because I

have learned the truth about life.  It is not who we are, but "whose" we are that really matters.  It has

been nearly forty years since I accepted that fact.  It is not religion that saves us, it is a belief that

there really is a cause for our lives, but we need One who leads us.  I have found that One.

We all have to make that decision, based on our own evaluation of the life that we lead.  We cannot

assign that responsibility to others.  There will be a Judgment Day and it is not necessarily tomorrow.

Today, is the day to make your decision.  For me, it was May 12, 1975.  I had my life to date laid out for

me to examine and it was not a pretty picture.  I was ashamed of myself and I learned how not to place

the blame on others.  What a relief.

I am not here to preach.  I am here to accept the blame - all of it, for Janice's life.  That she suffered

brings tears to my eyes as I type.  I could have done better and the facts are, I did not.  I have said that

she.was to blame and I was wrong.  I hate the fact that she may have passed into the next life with any

thought that she might have done better.  The truth is, she believed in me and I failed her.

Nor am I here to ease the pain that I have caused for each of our children.  I cannot.  But I do know this,

the faith that I have teaches that we can forgive and that clears the way for better future opportunities

to make the most of our tomorrows better than the yesterdays.

And that remains as my most fervent prayer for all of us.t

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