Expect nothing… Just keep an open heart and an open mind.
Once in Florida with the idea of visiting my dad, Mark and I had also planned on driving a couple of hours to Tampa to finally see his biological son, Marshil, who he hadn’t seen since he was a small boy. Mark remained deep in thought and I could only imagine full of nerves. I pulled a sneaky, going along with Mark’s plan to drive to Tampa, all the while secretly scheming a different one. When I initially informed Marshil that we were going to be in Kissimmee on Father’s Day week, surprisingly, he told me that he, too, was going to be in Kissimmee for a couple of days that week to attend a concert. When I asked Marshil if he had mentioned this to Mark and he said no, I suggested that he keep it that way. So together, we decided to spring a surprise reunion on Mark.
The big night finally arrived, the meet-up place was at a nice steak joint. Mark was none the wiser. He thought it was just a date night for us as we were to head out to Tampa the next day. Later, when Mark came out of the restroom, there stood Marshil right in front of him saying hello. They embraced and for a moment … time stood still.
Someone said: It is not flesh and blood but the heart which makes us fathers and sons.
As I pensively sat and observed father and son’s mannerisms while listening to their conversation, I was amazed and touched by the connection transpiring right before my eyes. While I think it’s true to say, we expect nothing and hope for the best, my deepest hope and prayer is that these two men, so much alike, would not only reconnect but regain some of those years gone by. Neither one has had an easy life; many are filled with pain, discouragement, and regrets with some hard lessons in tow.
Sometime later, I asked my hubby what was his takeaway from meeting Marshil. He answered with misty eyes, “I really like him! And he doesn’t hate me!”
I’ve read that every man is trying to either live up to his father’s expectations or make up for his father’s mistakes. I don’t know how much of that is true. I only know that these two men have strong work ethics, are likable, lovable, loyal (mixed with a little craziness), and have a record of being a number one, devoted stepdad.
“You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.” C.S. Lewis
Today the dam was broken. The tide has turned. The waters shifted.
Only God can heal and transform hearts. While it’s true we don’t know what the future holds, I know Who holds our future. I’m giving it all to God to let Him work out the details of all of my concerns, uncertainties, and troubles. He’s a lot better at holding things together than I am anyway. Thank you, Lord, for being the Author and Finisher of my faith!
Here’s to second chances and new beginnings! We all look forward to spending more quality time together with meaningful conversations in the coming days, months, and years ahead.