Family Legacy

My parents divorced when I was eleven years old.  My father moved out and went to live with another woman.  This experience had a profound influence on me.  I lost a close relationship with my father, I felt betrayed by him.  We all go through some sort of separation from our parents that can be more or less painful.

As we mature, we can see things from a new perspective and understand our parents better.  I lost my connection to my father, and I felt I lost my father’s love.  As I look back upon the things I have done so far in my life, I see that much of it has been an attempt to regain my father’s love, and to somehow make things good again.

The truth is, of course, that my father never stopped loving me, but he was not resourceful enough to find ways to show his love.   He was also too preoccupied with his new life to pay much attention to his old family.  I learned that my father never had a deep connection to his father; my grandfather.  Their relationship was one of acceptance.  There was never any physical violence, but they were not close.  I learned that they never spoke about feelings or the deeper meaning of life.

My grandfather required that you should be a man, stand up for yourself, never cry, and never show emotions.  My grandfather worked in a shipyard all his life.  He worked hard, struggled, and was able to build his own house.

When I, in my search, asked him about some career advice, he looked at me and said, “You are tall; never work on a bench.”  Apparently, he was concerned about my back.  When I asked him about moving to America, he said, “If you have money, America is good.  But then again, if you have money, anywhere is good.”  He was a simple, straightforward man with little formal education. Yet, he stayed all his life in marriage, had two kids, and enjoyed his late years sitting on his own lawn just enjoying his freedom.

My grandfather’s father was a dam overseer.  Apparently, he was a violent man.  He beat his wife and kids.  My great-grandfather eventually left his wife and seven kids and started a new life.  The family felt little love and much resentment towards him.

My great-grandfather’s father was also a dam overseer and a firefighter.  He too was a violent man with little love. His father, my great-great-great grandfather, was a sailor.  All I know of him is that he brought home Canary birds from his travels at sea.  The birds would die from the cold and lack of sunshine in the winter, so the attic of his house was filled with the empty cages from all the birds he brought home over the years.  Though I do not know his inner thoughts, I have a suspicion his feelings resonate in my own longing for the sun.

Here my search ends.  I do not have any information about his father again.  From asking my oldest relatives, I have gone five or six generations back in history.  When I tell these stories to my nephews, children, or grandchildren, that will make it seven generations.

It is not a coincidence that historic texts suggests influences travel seven generations.  What is the wisdom from this story?  Well, the most plausible reason why my father never showed much love and never connected much with me was because his father never connected with him or showed much love to him.

Why did my grandfather not show much love?  He never received love himself; he was beaten, left and betrayed by his father, who in turn had a violent father, who again had a father that perhaps was struggling with winter depressions.

Why did my father leave my mother and his three kids to move in and settle with a new woman?  You can never have proof of these things but I am sure that the legacy of his grandfather doing the same thing had something to do with it.

Do you see the pattern here?  Fortunately, I have the ability to become conscious about the influences I have from the past.  I can decide to learn from them and make sure I don’t repeat history

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Table of Contents

I. Chapter One: Introduction to Life Planning

II. Chapter Two: Your Past

III. Chapter Three: The Influence Of Generations

IV. Chapter Four: Your Present

V. Chapter Five: Your Future

VI. Chapter Six: Your Alternatives

VII. Chapter Seven: Making The Decision

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