Monday, 16 February 2015

A Father's Love

I was wanting to post about my first experience going to an LGBT social group this past week but something happened yesterday that has taken precedence.

So I was on the phone to my Dad a few days ago and he made a comment to me in passing that took me a bit (or A LOT) by surprise. So we were talking about my new house (yes I bought a house, hooray!), he said in passing 'make sure you check the legal stuff around ownership of the house because there's some circumstances where if you live with someone for over 6 months they might have claim on it so when you live with your partner make sure you check all that out'. WHAT?! Did I just hear him correctly? My Dad who serviced as my Bishop when I was a teenager and still very active in Chuch, has commented on me having a 'partner' and talking about us living together?! I was gobsmacked! What caught me even more off guard was he said it so casually as if he didn't feel uncomfortable at all about the topic, (I actually felt like I was more uncomfortable than he was).

A bit of background on my relationship with my Dad...

My Dad is an intelligent and logical person. He rarely loses his temper and only a handful of times do I remember him lose his temper. He is somewhat of a conservative person in regards to showing emotion and I only do remember a handful of times he has verbalised that he 'loves' me. Despite the lack of verbal reassurance, there has never been any doubt in my mind that my Dad has an immense love for his family.

My Dad was always the one to approach if I wanted permission to go out with friends when I was younger. He was certainly more chill than my Mum but when it came to morals and values, he was as ancient as ancient gets.

During my first bout of rebellion (when I was on the verge of coming out at 17) my I distinctly remember my Dad sitting me in a room as stern as he had ever been letting me know that he could not allow anything contrary to the Gospel live under his roof. I was furious and contemplated running away from home as a naive 17 year old. I knew he said it out of love but my mind back then could not comprehend that. I'm sure he was only bluffing.

When I served a mission, my Dad was so proud because he valued his mission so much he wanted me to feel the same. We wrote regularly during my 2 year service and I felt like we grew closer together. My Dad was much better at showing emotion through letters than he was verbally and I felt like my mission helped me show my love for my family more.

Upon returning, we experienced some difficulties as our viewpoints on Gospel doctrines seemed to differ a bit. Our conversations became a bit more mundane and surface-y. So even now, although we have a great love for each other, we rarely verbalise it. We talk about sport, gossip amongst relatives, food, the weather even! Rarely about things that were close to our hearts.

When I started seeing this guy from last year, I knew I had to tell my family and I always dreaded telling my Dad because in my mind he would never approve. My sister told me to start with my Dad because she felt like he wold take it easier than Mum would so when my Dad was visiting me on one of his business trips I decided to take the opportunity....

We sat in the car as he was dropping me home from dinner... I told him I had something tell him.... I didn't know how to say it! I was 'umm-ing' and 'errr-ing' for about a good 15 minutes before I finally told him. He didn't react in any obvious way (no overwhelming love or disgust/hate). He was calm and just questioned my testimony and lectured me a bit about still keeping commandments. I was somewhat disappointed that he didn't show more love toward me but then again, it was much better than what I had expected... after that conversation that night in October, the subject was never mentioned again......

.....UNTIL THAT COMMENT! And he hasn't treated me any differently since!

I'm so grateful for the family that I have... even though we have our challenges, I know that he love me no matter what (even though they don't want to say it because it will feel like they condone my choices).

To everyone out there who are afraid to tell their parents, just hang in there! It seems like a scary and daunting thing to tell them but they might surprise you. That being said I think timing is very important as it was for me and my family so just take it at your own time and pace - when YOU are ready :)

I love this video so much and it was something that really helped me get to where I am now.

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