Two years and two days ago, I lost three family members to a house fire. These people were not my family per se, but rather my daughter’s family – her dad’s side. The Porter-O’Shea pile. Grandma, Grandpa, and Irie all left us that day, and nothing has been the same since.
The only person in the entire family who lost both a parent and a child was my daughter’s father, who lives in Alaska. He chose not to come to the funerals that were held in Indiana for his eldest daughter, or for his parents. Several people were angry at him for this decision, including our daughter, who was Irie’s half-sister. It was Christmas and the losses were hard enough. Having him reject the offers of family to fly him down was simply too much for some of the fam.
I wasn’t angry at him, though. Somehow, I had compassion for him. Despite the fact that he has provided only a single payment of child support since our daughter was a baby. Despite the fact that he refuses to have contact with our child, or his family previously (before the fire), nor currently. I choose to look past the hurt his behavior causes, and try to understand that it is the only way he can cope. He is the true concept of the Prodigal son, whom everyone prays will return eventually back home. I don’t know if that will happen with him. I hope it does, some day.
I was thinking of him tonight, wanting to write about his story. I didn’t know which was the correct card to choose for him – Page of Pentacles, reversed? Nah. So I calculated the numbers of today’s date that I’d been typing all day in mmddyy format:
122121 = 1+2+2+1+2+2+1 = 9
Now mind you, if you were to use the yyyy format, it would be 11 total, which is a different story altogether. I came up with 9 – The Hermit, which is perfectly fitting for this man.
Justice (11) could be relevant because there are some child support issues in the balance, as I mentioned – but she is not why I’m writing tonight. The Hermit is the person whose story needs to be told on this cold Winter Solstice evening.
To me, the Hermit and the Hierophant are similar cards in a lot of ways. If the Hierophant were to step down from his spot on the pulpit and go on a journey of self-discovery, he would be The Hermit. Not that my kid’s father is on some highly spiritual path, but who am I to know? I’ve not spoken with him in nearly seven years. His mom told me it’d been three since she’d talked to him; that was a month before she died. I could not understand why, but it is not my job to.
The Hermit needs his independence – it is what sustains him. He cannot be tied down to the requirements of others’ demands, no matter how seemingly small they are to the other person. If the Hermit wants his alone time, he will cross deserted fields and journey deep into the forest to find solitude. It is not necessary for him to have contact with others, as he lights his own way. Occasionally, there will be a need to connect for food or other necessities, but he finds the most comfort in his aloneness. He wants nothing more. Sometimes, this can harm him – if he refuses to be willing to hear the words of others – he may tread onto paths which might lead him astray.
I hope that one day he will find his way home. But until then, I wish him wellness, joy, light, and kind thoughts across the miles. Most of all, I forgive him for needing to be gone; because I too, have the need for independence. Stay safe, Hermit. Happy Solstice to you.