A Love Letter to Dad
By Adelheid, Arizona
The ECK, the Holy Spirit, uses each moment of our lives to teach us spiritual wisdom, to expand our consciousness, and to open our hearts to divine love in often unexpected ways. It is up to us to open our eyes and our hearts to see and to experience.
During my childhood in Germany, my relationship with my father was always challenging. We hadn’t been close, and I hadn’t felt loved. He offered my sisters and me experiences such as little vacations, music lessons, and visits to the theater or a concert. This was unusual for families right after World War II because there was so little money. Yet our family dynamic, on the whole, was not a loving one. I was an unhappy child, lost in a big, unknown world. Growing up was difficult for me. I had major challenges. Then I found Eckankar, which brought me a new point of view. I don’t know how I would have gotten through life if I hadn’t found the teachings of Eckankar and the love of the ECK Masters.
Years later, when I was in my late fifties, I made the decision to emigrate to the United States. I needed to inform my dad, who then was ninety years old and fragile. When he heard about my plan to move to Arizona, he was furious. I had rarely seen him like that before. His opinion was that nothing good could come from the United States. “There is corruption,” he said. “There is gunfire and killing. The action movies are horrible. There is no common culture.” The litany went on and on.
I was in a predicament, but I couldn’t do anything about it. I knew I needed to live with the situation and I couldn’t help him. I was still in Germany when he translated (died) two months later.
Emigrating to another continent takes time and preparation. Another two months passed, then came the day my household belongings were packed into a giant overseas container to be shipped to the United States. I spent the last night in my home on a makeshift mattress provided by a dear friend. That very night, my dad entered my dream—something that had never happened before. He was young, strong, handsome, and obviously happy. I didn’t doubt for a second that it was my dad. He looked at me and said, “I will support you in the United States. I love you.”
I awoke in tears. I’d never been able to imagine something like this. I was speechless. My heart was pounding. Tears flowed. I was overwhelmed with gratitude I will never forget.
The first three years in the United States were tough for me. Sometimes I could feel my father’s presence. It’s hard to put into words how he supported me, but he accompanied me inwardly, which was so helpful. I felt his love, but after a few years I started to forget.
Mom suffered from dementia during her last years after Dad’s death, so my sisters in Germany cared for her in loving ways. I was still in the United States, so I couldn’t help. Because I wasn’t able to be there, I began serving as a hospice volunteer to give back to life.
Recently, a hospice client I’ll call Robert asked specifically for a German-speaking volunteer. I was free at this time, so I made a commitment to accompany Robert through his last months on earth. Little did I know what was going to happen, but it became clear the Mahanta had orchestrated this.
Robert had experienced a stroke which left his entire left side paralyzed. Unable to move, and restricted to his recliner, he watched his world shrink. One moment he was living an interesting cosmopolitan life in an important position with demanding responsibilities, speaking seven languages fluently; the next moment, there he was in a tiny, one-room world, trapped in a recliner. He needed help, and I determined to do my best.
Robert and I developed a deep, trusting friendship. This was not the usual relationship between a hospice patient and volunteer; it was a heartfelt, loving relationship between two Souls. We shared similar childhood experiences, having grown up during and after World War II. We shared our experiences at school and our moves to the United States as if we were old friends who had known each other forever. I always looked forward to our visits.
I listened carefully, but it wasn’t until later that it dawned on me there was a deeper meaning to what I was experiencing. In talking about his father, Robert showed me that my own beliefs about my father and my childhood were wrong. Many old, long-forgotten memories came back. I realized how much my father did for me, what he taught me, and what he shared with me. I had not been able to acknowledge and identify this as his love for me. One little example is how he taught me to pack a suitcase. Even today I still pack my suitcase the way I learned from him.
I was so humbled. I could see Dad and my childhood in a totally different light. I can’t express my gratitude in words. It was huge. It took my time with Robert, and more than seventy years, to fully understand and experience my love for my father.
I felt I needed to express this new love. But how? Then I had an inner nudge to write to my father, even though he had been gone for so long. I tearfully wrote about how much I loved him. “Please forgive me for making your life so difficult,” I said. “I’m sorry for being ungrateful for what you did for me and for not being able to return your love.” As I wrote, my heart opened, and I experienced a huge amount of love. It was a divine gift.
Only a few days later, Dad came into my contemplation. This is a word for the daily spiritual practice we do in Eckankar. Again there was no doubt; it was Dad. With a soft voice, he said to me, “I got your letter. I heard you. Thank you.”
My love for Dad is now absolute. There is no past anymore. We have unconditional love for each other.
My story started with a dream of my father. It continued with my friendship with Robert, and it ended with a healing experience with Dad in contemplation. All three experiences are ways the Master teaches us about God’s love.
All these experiences are reminders that the Inner Master’s words, “I am always with you,” are true. He offers us spiritual wisdom, expands our consciousness, and opens our hearts to divine love.
I’ve learned that we have to live life fully to truly experience God’s love. Yet the presence of the Master is always with us.