A Distant Father

By Cathy DiBella

Did I have a good father? No. Was he emotionally absent, narcissistic? Yes. Did he spend time with me putting himself into me so I could function through life? No.

For these reasons, I’ve been storing my dad’s camcorder in a closet for 17 years. It still had two recordings with it that he showed to the family before he died. I haven’t had any interest in viewing them since then. At that time, pretty much the whole family was bored watching them. My dad was a talker. He could go on for hours sometimes about nothing.

Recently, I got motivated to clean out this closet and sell the camera. Without really thinking about it I charged it up to see if it still worked. It did. I threw in one of the tapes and there was my dad.

I hadn’t realized how much healing had taken place until I kept watching. I felt no anger or hurt. I just listened to see if I could get any insight into who my dad really was. I didn’t feel I really knew him when he died. He never shared himself, his thoughts, his childhood, or his feelings.

This time, as I listened, I wasn’t bored at all. Instead, his words captivated me. He talked about his love of flying. He got his pilot license when I was little. Later on, he had to quit flying because of blood pressure medication. After my mother died, he took up flying again at 81 with an instructor in the other seat.

This was the subject of this video. He talked about why he liked to fly, how he felt in the air, his takeoffs, and how the instructor helped him perfect his landings. He seemed so pleased with himself. Even though I had already seen these tapes, I’d never heard my dad talk like this before.

In the second video, he had asked my brother-in-law to go up with him and be the camera man. This part made me sad because I never shared this part of my dad’s life. Granted, back then, I was afraid of flying in the big planes let alone the small ones. However, he never asked. Watching him help the instructor push the plane out of its parking spot touched my heart. Then, as he took off, I wished I could have been there to shout a “woo hoo!”

He talked about flying to Hamilton, Oxford, Middletown, Xenia, and Richmond in Indiana. He always knew where he wanted to go and had his flight plan ready. He also discussed watching and enjoying other videos at home to improve his skills. At the end of the last video, he commented that he didn’t know if anyone would want to watch these later or not.

As he got up to turn off the camera, I heard him say, “Bye.” I could only reply, “Bye, Daddy.”

I feel closer to my dad after watching these videos and my heart is softer toward him. Thank you God for more healing.

Philippians 1:6 “And I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ (right up to the time of His return), developing (that good work) and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you.” Amplified

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3 replies on “A Distant Father”

Beautiful. What a great reflection and new perspective after your heart is changed. Thank you for sharing this…

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