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Honour Thy Mother and Father

October 10, 2012

I had difficulty with this commandment. Life here began for me when dad pulled mum down the stairs by her hair, in the middle of the night, to make tea for his drunken army buddies. I was out in the world by lunch time. Screaming my head off, no doubt.

My first conscious memory of dad was violent. I was 4 and he had just come home from his service. I recall him standing in the doorway taking off his belt. By the end of it, I was hysterical and in shock. As I lay in bed that night, the only way my young mind could make sense of it was to conclude that God had died and the devil was loose on earth. I expected to see the earth scorched when I woke up the next morning. I was wrong. Leaning on my Sunday school lessons, I then expected dad to be struck by lightning. Wrong again. And where was Jesus? He loves the little children and watches over us; shouldn’t he be showing up at some point? By the time I was 7, I was begging God to take me back. How many of us have been there and done THAT?! I have a storage container full of those t-shirts.

It’s a good thing I was born Scorpio and with a fighting Irish spirit. At 13, I was kicking dad out of my bed. At 16, I was calling the cops on him to help my mother. I stayed away over the years, not because I was afraid of him — I was afraid of myself. Scared about what I might do to him if he tried to hurt my mum in front of me. A Scorpio’s deepest fear is the fear of their own power. Scorpio rules the shadow.

When I was 12, mum gave me a wonderful gift. I asked her why we didn’t go to church anymore and she angrily told me, “I don’t need any damn preacher standing on a pulpit screaming down at me what I should believe about God!” Good enough. This gave me the freedom to search on my own.

She gave me another gift when I was 14. The incest had come out into the open. I was the only one living at home at that point and she told me “If you can’t forgive your father, then get out of the house because I can’t live without him.” Apparently, it was time for the little bird to fly. I think of this when I watch the mother robins, angrily attacking and chasing the growing babies away from their territories when it comes time.

During my early 30s I was doing my 4th and 5th step in AA — confronting your shadow and admitting it to someone. I hadn’t been to a church since Sunday school, but I chose a minister to do my purge. When I spoke to her about my difficulty with the 5th commandment (and telling her of life with my parents), her response to me was basically “If they deserve to be honoured.”

This didn’t sit well with me. Who was I to decide that? In my view, Creator was the only one with that authority. I knew I couldn’t fulfill the expectations of my parents and in their eyes, I wasn’t an honourable daughter. Yet I deeply wanted to fulfill this commandment. I finally came to the decision that the only way I could honour my parents was to become an honourable person. In my definition of the word.

This would be backed by my faith in The All, and my knowing it all happens for a reason. Shortly after my dad died a few years ago, I came across a saying: “God will only send you worthy opponents.” I thought of my dad and came to the conclusion that God must think me extremely worthy. I had an image of my dad and myself in warrior gear and, in that moment, I got it. Dad had been training me. He was my master drill sergeant for this battle . He taught me the strength, passion and courage needed to fulfill my mission. His dying last request to me actually turned out to be the crucial order for my mission. God apparently uses atheists, as was my dad, to fulfill his works and it all happens for a reason.

When mum passed, I enclosed myself to grieve and deal with my victim anger. During this time, she came to me in a dream and said, “I won’t apologize for anything. Accept the healing.” As I grieved, I would say these words out loud and the most incredible cleansing washed through me as I sobbed and screamed. I have to say, mum always did give good advice. Accept the healing, my friends. And yes, Jesus did finally show up, but that’s another story.


3 Comments leave one →
  1. purpleskyz permalink
    October 10, 2012 8:22 pm

    This is an incredibly powerful article.
    Thanks so much for sharing this.
    Bless you for your courage Mandy.


  1. Honour Thy Parents | Infinite Sadness… or hope?

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