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Keller: Drop out of the ‘Old School’

Years ago, as I was walking one morning, I was stopped by a young man whom I would see occasionally but didn’t know his name.

“How are you feeling?” he asked, evidently knowing that I recently had colon cancersurgery.

“I’m doing fine,” I answered. “The cancerous tumor was removed. I didn’t need a colostomy and I won’t need chemotherapy. God’s been good to me.”

He continued. “My dad died a few years ago from colon and bladder cancer.” Without hesitating, he shared, “When my dad was on his deathbed, my wife and I went to visit him. Before entering the room, my wife said that it was time for me to make amends with my dad. I told her that I didn’t know if I could do that.”

He then described his relationship with his dad. “My dad was from the ‘old school.’ He ruled our house with this! (He made a clenched fist.) The abuse I suffered left a scar, but not deeper than the abuse he dished out to my mom. He would beat her, sometimes for no reason. I hated him for that. Maybe hate is not the right word. Those memories still bring back pain, but I thank God for my last visit with my dad. I took my wife’s advice and made amends to the best of my ability.”

He continued, “I told my dad that I forgave him for everything he ever did to me and my mom.” I said, ‘You know, dad, the only thing I ever wanted to hear from you is that you loved me.’ I wanted his approval and love so much!”

As he talked, I could feel the sincerity of his emotions.He concluded our conversation with this, “I’m glad I was able to tell my dad that I not only forgave him, but I also loved him.”

As we departed, he said, “I guess my dad loved me the only way he could.” He repeated, “You know, he was from the ‘old school.”‘

As I continued my walk, I thought — ‘old school.’ I wondered how many ‘old school’ graduates destroyed families, many without the chance to make amends.

If you have any questions, or comments, please write to Harold Keller at Get High on Life, P.O. Drawer U, Reserve, LA 70084 or call (985) 652-8477.