Turn Your Frown Upside DownJune 27, 2020
TURN YOUR FROWN UPSIDE DOWN
I anxiously await my father’s return. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen or heard from him. I can hardly wait! My dad will be here soon and I can hug him, wrestle with him, and just hang out with him—just him and me—the two of us together.
I remember when he left. He hugged me, told me to be good, and to stay in the game. He also said he was proud of me.
I dream of being with my dad again. I can’t wait! I rehearse over and over again to myself. I pace back and forth in the airport, visit the snack shop for a soda and some chips. I wish the plane would hurry up and bring my dad home! It is almost impossible for me to stay in control as I bounce around on one foot then the other.
I lived with my father a short time before my parents broke up. I moved with my grandparents for a while before moving in with my mother and my new baby brother. Before long, my father re-married and I had another baby brother.
It has been months since I’ve seen or heard from my dad but I longed to be with him. At night I pray, “God, please bring my mom and dad back together again.” During the day, however, I never mentioned his name. If asked anything about him, I respond, “I don’t know” or simply do not respond at all.
Deep down, the pain is unbearable. Why can’t my dad be with me? I see my friends with their fathers. They talk about how they and their dads go out to eat, go to the moves or a ball game. All I have is the PSP that my dad gave me for my birthday. The pain becomes so intense that I begin to construct a thick wall between me and the hurt–trying to make myself impervious to the agonizing pain. I try to stash my thoughts, along with my dad, in the deepest recesses of my mind, swearing never to revisit them again; but that doesn’t work.
Word came one day that my father was on his way home for a short stay. My dad’s coming home! I repeated again and again. Nothing could make me happier than the thought of my dad coming home to be with me—just the two of us together. Now, here I stand in the airport waiting for my dad’s plane to arrive.
Finally, a Southwest airplane lands and is pulling into the gate where I wait. I’m watching with my nose and hands plastered against the window; steam from my mouth fogs the glass. All of the passengers embark, but there’s no sign of my dad.
I fold in half, bent by the weight of another disappointment, and tears well up in my eyes. He’s not coming! After a long while, someone touches me on my shoulder from behind. “Hey, Bud! How are you doing?” I jerk as if hit with a high voltage shot of electricity.
Dad! I shout as I jump up, whirl around, and leap into my dad’s awaiting arms.
He and I walk side by side, arm in arm to the nearest coffee shop for something to eat and a place to talk—just the two of us together.
Too bad this is not the way the story ends. I don’t get to see my dad. I take yet another disappointment and stuff it into the already bulging bag of hurt and pain.
Too much burden; too much weight, I have to find some way to get rid of this baggage. I think about joining the Bloods or the Krips, but that lifestyle isn’t my style. I could run away, but that would hurt the rest of my family. What can I do to take my mind off of the pain? Something my father had told me flashes into my mind: ‘Stay in the game!’ Just as quickly, an idea comes to me. Be a friend to the fatherless, like myself. I know exactly how it feels to be without a father. I know the disappointment, the shame, and the hurt. Who better to relate to someone than one who has been there and felt that.
For the first time in a very long time, I feel alive again. I make a list of all the guys I know without fathers; and one by one, I begin to seek them out, talk to them, and plan to spend time with them. We get together on a regular basis and before long there is a sizeable group. A couple of the guys decide to make a clubhouse for abandoned sons.
Standing on the outside of the clubhouse, you couldn’t imagine that anyone on the inside has ever felt alone and discarded. There are sounds of laughter, fun, and togetherness spilling out the windows and doors. Boys are spilling out the doors and onto the ground too. Since there is so much fun going on, the boys decide to change the name to, “Together.”
You, too, can take your disappointment and turn it into something that is helpful to others and in return, helpful to you. All you need to do is to consider your strengths, point out the source of your disappointments, and think of creative ways to turn your disappointment around to something positive for others who are experiencing similar woes as you. Many clubs and organization have been founded on such a principle. Numerous single women, left without sufficient income after a divorce, have created sizeable incomes for themselves simply by evaluating their strengths, researching the need for what they do well, and being motivated to get started. You can too!