Tuesday, September 18, 2012


My dad meeting Bei for the first time when we first came home from China.
   The things that I inherited from my dad are his blues eyes, the rest of my siblings have green eyes like my mom.   His thin build.  His curly hair and unfortunately circles and bags under my eyes...rats on that one!

Several months ago when I heard Whitney Houston died my first thought was "Oh no, there is no redemption for Whitney".   I thought of all the wrongs that she had committed against her child Bobbi Kristina, all the pain that she caused her, all the wretched awful things that Bobbi Kristina had witnessed, the raw open wounds of her heart and spirit, all due to her mother's drug addiction.   I feel sad because now that Whitney is dead there is no way to right those wrongs for her daughter.   Why does this story resonate so strongly with me you may wonder?   My dad was an alcoholic.   Without going into too much detail, I will share with you that my first memories of my dad were of violence.  Waking up to punched holes in the door or walls, walking on eggshells because you never knew what the trigger was that was going to set him off.   I lived in fear of my father.   The ability for him to show love and be kind at times never offset for me the times of violence.   Even as a child I could not reconcile how a person could show love to his children and I believe our dad really loved us, but then in another moment physically harm his children.   For me it meant a childhood of keeping my head down low and walking wide circles around my dad.    Alcoholism is an insidious disease and this was not the person who God had intended my father to be.  In the early years my dad was what would be called a "functioning alcoholic", eventually his alcoholism took over his life and he was no longer able to keep a home or a job.  In the height of my father's alcoholism after losing his wife, the respect of his children, his job, his house, (and alot more happened which I won't devulge), my father stopped drinking.   Cold turkey!!!   He did it!   He is lucky he didn't have a seizure and die but I believe God had plans for him.  My father went on to remarry, hold down a good job and build a new life for himself without alcohol.   Slowly but surely, he and I started to build our relationship.   We found common ground, things that we both liked to talk about, traveling, politics, music and books.   I watched my dad in his new family be a wonderful father figure to his step-children and his grandchildren.   The type of father that I would have LOVED to have, someone who encouraged and inspired them to challenge themselves to be the best that they could be.  You may have thought I felt envy or jealousy towards his new family, but I never did.   My dad never said he was sorry about the alcoholism or the  abuse, but for me those would be mere words, they wouldn't change anything that happened.   Instead my dad gave me a greater gift, he allowed me to sit front and center and watch the meaning of life which I believe is a life of redemption.   Isn't that why Jesus died on the cross for us?   I watched this man who truly had hit rock bottom, pull himself up with his own bootstraps and move forward and live a Godly life.    I am proud of what he did and who he became. 

My dad died a year ago this past March 23rd and his birthday was yesterday, September 17th.   He would have been 75 years old.  I miss him.  My dad became someone who I enjoyed and I wanted him to be a part of my life.  He LOVED the blog.  We would talk about every two weeks on the phone and I don't remember an occasion when we didn't laugh at some point of the conversation.   Miss you dad and thank you for getting sober...it meant everything!!!!!!!!!!


  1. Liz,
    Very eloquent...his soberity did mean everything. I miss him too!
    Love you, Jeannine

  2. We don't know each other, but I felt compelled to write. Although I never met your Dad I was privileged to hear stories about him. What I have come to admire is how his children have grown up to become dynamic and inspiring people. It seems like you all have great gifts and share them generously with others, your humor, your caring for others, your advocacy, your honesty, your parenting, your creativity, your selflessness and above all else your faith. He would be proud of you all! Wendy

  3. Wendy,

    Thank you so much for your kind words. As each year passes,I realize how intertwined the words forgiveness and family are in my own life. You can't move forward successfully if you are looking backwards. I appreciate your kind comments!