The Visible Inheritance of Love
honoris causa in patrem
Honoring My Father
Happy Father’s Day to my Father, Peta Paul: Born 1921 – Died 1993
My dad, Peta Paul, was a second-generation immigrant from Jugoslavia (as spelled on the Certificate of Naturalization) and His father, Jajo Pavicich made a courageous choice for the family that was entirely a stage of conception in the young mind of this single man, whose love of life, was Josepha Pavelich. What did my paternal grandfather perceive about the unrest in his motherland in the early 1900s that would create a catapulting commencement to embark upon a vast ocean voyage across the Atlantic to a new country? Once at Ellis Island, his path and destination, determined by the forged tracks of the first continental railroad, he settled in a place once called River’s Edge, now Council Bluffs.
This upcoming blog series, My Father’s Story and Mine ~ will weave together the visible and invisible tapestry of my father’s lineage that became my spiritual, emotional, and physical inheritance.
These are written as my affectionate memories from your daughters heart …The Visible Love.
You created stability throughout our tumultuous homestead by providing your consistent love, manifested in more ways than I will be able to share here today. You left within me your essence “how to be loved,” as an unrecognized boon all these years which has recently been made manifest in specifics as I continued my soul-healing journey. The power of your loving gaze and presence in my life saved me from being ruined by unsafe men in my life. I will share more of that later, but now I wish to recall the visible things that have always sustained me in knowing your pure, unsullied, and unselfish, love.
In 1955, you, the axis of my life, began weaving your family tapestry by the warp and weft of visible and invisible silk threads, within the tension of life. You relinquished your ownership in The King of Clubs Bar as your desire was to provide a haven in which to raise your baby daughter.
Could you have known then I would look back upon your life and recall the many micro-expressions, major and minor decisions you made that shaped me into the woman I became? I will always cherish the times you read with animation from Aesops Fairy Tales and The Little Golden Book Children’s Series and finish our ritual by singing, “You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. You make me happy when skies are grey.”
Then, adventurous memories climbing to the top of the loess hills at Fairmont Park and engaging in play so that I could swing, teeter-totter, ride the little carousel round and round as fast as it would go, would create the only joy I recalled from early childhood.
Yours was the only affirmation I felt, as I absorbed your delight in me as you encouraged and cheered me on as I rode my little pink bicycle with training wheels back and forth on the sidewalk in front of our home. Then, you launched me into the next phase of developing my motor skills the day you removed the training wheels and asked if I was ready to ride my bike without them. You assured me that you would support me until I was peddling fast enough to take off on my own. And … that sunny morning I enjoyed being launched in my first solo bike flight on the sidewalk in front of my childhood home with you smiling in joy at my success.
Your sense of humor and sarcastic wit, I inherited. Your best impersonations were in a caricature style, imitating the Ronald J. Palagi commercials, and television evangelist, Benny Hinn. Even in what others might have interpreted as disrespectful and ribald humor, you never were cruel to others, you had a way of calling out duplicities, charlatans, and hypocrisies by drawing attention to truths through your humor.
There was nothing that you would not do for me. You, my dad, a man of gentle nature, nurturing, and joyful in spirit transferred your essence to me. In our latter days together you witnessed me through divorce and recovery without a judgment, but through tears, we healed and made sense of what was so difficult to understand. You regularly left me the most loving and hilariously encouraging love notes that became my manifesto of healing.
The last visible loving act you offered was the morning you died.
You awakened early Friday morning, Labor Day weekend 1993, to lovingly make me a glass of iced tea with 4 packets of Equal, as that had become your daily ritual to brighten my life. I headed to the refrigerator with great anticipation for the tea waiting on the top shelf of our refrigerator before preparing for my workday.
I enjoyed the cool refreshing sip of sweetened iced tea and noticed no sounds were coming from your bedroom suite.
I checked to see if you were okay.
I walked closer to observe your chest to make sure you were breathing and just sleeping.
My heart started palpitating with intensity.
You were not breathing.
I touched your chest and called your name, “Dad, dad, dad…wake up.”
You were still warm and damp.
I called 911.
You were gone.
There is no sequel to be experienced in the visible world but your gentle spirit continues to shape me and as the poet David Whyte writes, “The visible and the invisible working together in common cause to produce the miraculous.”
Love, your daughter
We shape our self
to fit this world
and by the world
are shaped again.
and the invisible
in common cause,
I am thinking of the way
the intangible air
traveled at speed
round a shaped wing easily
holds our weight.
So may we, in this life trust
to those elements
we have yet to see
and find the true
shape of our own selves,
by forming it well
to the great
intangibles about us.
The next several blogs will be dedicated to speaking to the invisible manifestation of my dad and how his protection went beyond the physical world and manifested in spirit decades later in my moment of auseinandersetzung. (German for: I know something I did not know until now… I know something … I did not know… until now… in the confrontation of my own illumination).
…vulnerability as enhanced perception
in the invisible support that surrounds us.
The reticulated feminine imagination of Firefly Horizons and aesthetic architect of its contextual nature. Crystal establishes artful metaphor and metonymy in interpretative language to convey abstract questions to easy answers. Through sovereign reflection, she initiates imaginative beginnings. Read more about Crystal • Articles by Crystal