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Father and Parent: Often Two Very Different Things

Copy (1) of Dad and Regina 11-05

I have two fathers. One was my biological father who got my 13 year old mother pregnant. She gave me up for adoption then out of guilt married him and they had four more children.  I met him once along with my biological mother, brothers and sisters.  It was not a pleasant experience. He was a gruff man who I later learned frequently threatened the children with a gun and was often physical and verbally violent.

My other father is the man who raised me. Jean and Reagan Cates could not have biological children but they badly wanted little ones to share life with. So they adopted my sister, Rachel, and me.

I remember when mom told me. I was about five years old and we were sitting on the kitchen floor in our little house on Mistletoe Street in Victoria, Texas. She said I was deeply wanted and loved. So much so that she flew all the way from Victoria to Plainview, Texas to get me. I don’t think there was a time in life when I did not feel like their child just because we lacked a biological connection. LOVE is not conditional. That is a lesson Jean and Reagan began teaching me at three days old when they gave me a home.

Very early in life I learned anyone can father a child. But not everyone can parent to raise a child so they feel loved, appreciated, respected and worthy as an individual and as a woman.

Although my dad, Reagan, is far from perfect just as I am not, he was and remains at the age of 94 a man who chose to learn how to be an excellent father.  I am honored to have been adopted by him and I am honored he is still alive for me to tell him how much I appreciate him.

Free Speech is NEVER Free!

Angel with finger on lips

Although we may live in a free country, and have a constitutional right to the freedom of speech, we are not entitled to say whatever we want without caring about the consequences of our actions. Freedom of speech does not mean we are free to do what we want, say what we want, text what we want, post to social media what we want, without regard to the consequences of our actions. Action without accountability is not free. There are always consequences!

As ambassadors of love we accept extensive personal freedom requires us to operate at the highest levels of personal integrity. Doing so maintains our integrity as we navigate within social systems that often allow and encourage pushing acceptable boundaries to intolerable and ridiculous extremes.

The idea it is suitable to act without caring about short- and long-term consequences is completely egotistical, motivated by the impatience, immaturity, and thoughtlessness of self-centered ego.  Ego is not interested in treating others as we want to be treated.  Only heart cares what Jesus would do.

Love is ACTION!

 

Love is gentle.

Roses heart love symbol

Love is respectful.

Love is truthful.

Love is committed.

Love is patient.

Love is cooperative.

Love is loyal.

Love is forgiving.

Love is honest.

Love is peaceful.

Love is kind.

Love is responsible.

Love is compassionate.

Love is thoughtful.

Love is happy.

You and I create the most amazing life when we live as love in action.

Right or Happy? Your Choice!

Through e-mail, I agreed to pick up and return my friend Katherine to the airport. Two weeks before her arrival, something came up that required me to change plans for transporting her back to the airport. Still through e-mail, I assured her I would find someone to give her a ride back.

She arrived and I was at the airport to greet her. After some time together, I confirmed I was unable to give her a ride back to the airport. The news came as a shock. Nothing I said could convince my friend I had sent a second e-mail two weeks earlier; she thought I was lying.

It was not easy, but the truth was that no matter how much I wanted validation from Katherine, there was absolutely nothing to be gained by arguing with her. Leading with our heart is caring more for friendship than pride, so I chose to let go of my ego’s need to be recognized as right. I did not want to be angry with her, nor did I want our time together to be uncomfortable. The only option I saw to ensure peace of mind was to be patient, accept what was, and allow the situation to resolve itself.

A few weeks after my friend returned home, she was having repairs made to her computer when several mysteriously lost e-mails arrived in her in-box. Among them was the one I had sent.

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