- It's Never Too Late to Say I Love You
- By: Keith Varnum
Whew! I just barely survived
a workshop in Sedona, Arizona, with only a fragment of my old
sense of self in tact -- and that hanging by a thread. I was
grateful for what I learned from the seminar leader Lester Levenson
and for the positive changes I made. But I left the human potential
seminar filled with sadness, frustration and regret. During the
conference, many people, especially men, expressed their recent
joy and thankfulness in reconnecting with their estranged fathers.
They shared with us how fulfilling it was to tell their fathers
they loved them, and, in many cases, to even have the expression
of affection returned. Since my father was long dead, I felt
I'd blown my chance to experience an exchange of love with him.
Throughout my life, I often remarked to friends that it would
take an act of God, a miracle, to reconcile my father and me.
And that is exactly what it took.
After the final session of the
seminar, I shuffled off to my motel room, packed my bags for
an early morning flight, and hit the sack. However, sleep eluded
me. I kept seeing the happy faces of those fortunate guys who
reconciled with their dads. I could still hear their joyous laughter
as they compared stories with each other and the group.
Memories of my father and our
countless arguments played over and over in my mind. My dad and
I never spoke much about anything, let alone affection or feelings.
In anger and arrogance, the last words I spoke to him while he
was alive were "You'll find out!" Some send-off I gave
And his last words to me were the
same: "You'll find out!" That one phrase was our central
conversation. For twenty years, our main communication to each
other was that the other one would find out he was wrong -- about
whatever topic we disagreed, about life in general, about everything!
I winced at our voices of anger reverberating through my mind
and then cut off by the abrupt slam of a door -- his death. Yes,
it was too late for me. Finally, unable to shake the feeling
of hopelessness and self-judgment to find solace in sleep, I
dressed and left my motel room for a late night walk.
Shoulders hunched, eyes staring
at the pavement below my feet, I took a sorry stroll through
dark and empty streets. I'd been wandering aimlessly for some
time when, through my self-absorbed despair, I noticed a faint,
yet definite glow of golden light around the manhole covers I'd
been passing over. I examined each lid I came upon, but could
not discover the source of the soft, vague radiance.
In my understanding of the world,
abnormalities -- such as this faint shimmer -- in my "normal
environment" are never an accident. These irregularities
in the "expected picture" are usually my spirit's way
of trying to get my attention. This signal means my inner coach
has a message for me and wants me to listen up. It's like "You've
got mail!" on the computer. This particular sign of a soft
glow is familiar to me. A faint radiance has been one of my soul's
principal devices to attract my attention and get me to go inside
to check in with my intuition concerning the situation.
So, when I got back to the quiet
of my motel room, I did a quick meditation to see what message
was waiting for me. My inner voice answered immediately, "Look
more closely at the manhole covers." I recalled the metal
lids in my mind. After concentrating for a few moments, I saw
they were all engraved with the same large words. The inscriptions
read: "Salt River Project." This is the utility company
in which my father had left a sizable trust for my brother and
me. As I contemplated this connection to my father and his generous
gift to us, I detected another muted, golden glow emanating from
the corner of the bedroom.
I turned to face the light and
gasped. Standing by the wall stood my father in spirit form!
The apparition was so real I almost evoked the courage to reach
out and touch his hand. Twenty years of intense, backed-up emotion
rushed like an express train through my being. I was relieved
when he began to speak:
"Son, I'm sorry I wasn't
able to help you with emotional or spiritual affairs while we
were together on Earth. I couldn't assist you with those aspects
of life, because I couldn't help myself in those areas when I
was alive. I did share with you everything I knew of the material,
financial, political and social worlds. That was all I'd mastered.
Please forgive me for not helping you with your feelings or spirituality.
I am moving on now, Keith. I came to say good-bye and tell you
this man Lester is in your life to assist you with your emotional
and soul concerns. Trust him. Spend time with him. Open to him
in the way we could never open to each other on Earth. I love
you, Son. Good-bye."
Sobbing with joy and relief,
I blurted out, "Thank you, Dad. I love you. I understand.
I love you."
I was graced with the opportunity
to tell my father that I loved him fervently. I also asked him
to forgive me for being such a rebellious, ungrateful son. By
the time he said his final farewell, we each knew the other was
very sorry. We also totally forgave ourselves, as well as each
other. In the end, I recognized there was nothing to forgive
for either of us. We gave to each other all we had available
at the time to give. I slept more peacefully and fulfilled that
night than I'd ever slept before in my life.
In retrospect, I now laugh at
the universe's sense of humor. The sharp, attacking words my
father and I so loved to throw at each other were more accurate
and prophetic than we could ever have imagined. "You'll
find out!" had a hidden soul message for both of us. We
each did eventually "find out!" Although neither of
us was consciously aware of it, we were both foretelling our
eventual spiritual understanding of life and of our true connection
with each other.
I also found out -- to my eternal
delight -- that it's never too late to say, "I love you."
Copyright © 2005 Keith Varnum