Article Overview:   Become a Father of Vigilance.  Drive the Beast of Terror away from your children and their children's children's children.


Sunday--June 15, 2003—Ground Zero Plus 641
Fathers Of Vigilance--Unite!
Cliff McKenzie
   Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News

  GROUND ZER0, New York, New York--June 15, 2003-- It is time for the Fathers of Vigilance to rise up as an Army of Vigilance and strike down the Beast of Terror once and for all.

It is time for fathers to raise their swords and drive away the Beast of Terror

       For eons, the Beast of Terror has stalked the shadow of fathers, testing their resolve to be either a Terrorist or a Sentinel of Vigilance.   It is time for the tests to end, and for each father to accept the hilt of the Sword of Vigilance, and raise it up as a signet of commitment to driving the Beast of Terror from the homeland, to chase it deep into its dark, dank caves where it deserves to rot throughout eternity.
     But, this is a lofty plan.
     Men, by nature, are diverted by other battles seemingly more important than sweeping their children into their arms, hugging them, and being their Fortress of Emotional, Physical, Mental and Spiritual Vigilance.
      As a young boy, age 3, I vowed to become a Father of Vigilance.
      That was the age I realized my real father had abandoned me and I was cold and alone in a world without a masculine father-protector.
      It was a frightening experience.

I cried many lonely nights wishing my father would come home to love me

At three years of age I vowed to become a Father of Vigilance

       Children are confused when a parent cleaves himself or herself from the Child's Circle of Protection.   It is as though the parent cast the child to the wolves, threw it into the darkness filled with all sorts of bogeymen--yellow eyes that gleam in the darkness, bats that swoosh down like missiles in the tangled tooleywoods of a child's nightmares, making it unable to scream aloud, but yet inside, the cries bellow so loudly in the soul that the whole world vibrates.
       Many lonely nights I cried in the secret recesses of my soul, wishing my father would come through the door, wrap his arms around me, tell me he loved me and that he was sorry for not being there for me, but would make it up.    I would have believed him.   I would have forgiven him.
     Instead, my mother married another man.
     He was another Beast.
     I didn't like him.  I was five at the time, but I knew he didn't like me.  Children can read the eyes of adults, see deep into their being.

I remember the glare in 'the stranger's eyes - my new father's - and knew he hurt me on purpose

      On my fifth birthday when my mother came home with my new "father," he gave me a softball.   It was a big ball as I recall, with thick stitches and I could hardly hold it.   He took me outside to play ball with me and began to throw the ball at me harder and harder.  I remember trying to catch it.   It stung my hands.  And I remember looking at this giant of a man--a stranger I was now forced to call my father--laughing and throwing the ball harder and harder until I missed it and it slammed into my stomach, knocking me to ground breathless.
     I remember crying and running into my grandmother's house where my mother was, telling her he had hurt me on purpose and that I hated him.  She took me into the bedroom and told me he was my new father and would never hurt me, then left me to cry as she went out to him.
     I lay on the bed alone, sobbing, remembering the glare in 'the stranger's' eyes as he threw the ball.  I knew he had done it on purpose.   And, I knew I was alone again, fatherless regardless of the word "father" I was forced to use to address him.
     Things didn't get much better.
     I stood aloof from my step-father who a few years later adopted my sister Patty and I so we carried his name.   The new handle, "McKenzie" was like a yoke around my neck.  It didn't belong to me, but I was forced as any beast of burden to wear it.   My original last name, "Anderson," was buried in the shallow grave of my real father who was a Greyhound bus driver.    I would stand on the side of the road watching his bus weave up the Columbia River, showering gravel on me as it sped past without stopping.    I knew he didn't care.
      Each time his bus blew past I felt the emptiness in my gut widen, winced as another shard of my soul was ripped and shredded with the exhaust of the bus.    No birthday cards.  No Christmas presents.  No contact.    It was as though he wiped me off the windshield of his life, like a splattered bug.  One day I stopped going down to the roadside to watch his bus go by.  One day I stopped caring.

I often hid in the bottom of my bed

     My stepfather was a mean drunk.   He would hit my mother, bloody her nose, call her names.
      I often hid in the bottom of my bed, under blankets, hoping that if he came into the bedroom he would think I wasn't there.
     As I grew older, I often threw myself between my adoptive father and mother during bitter, brutal battles filled with both physical and emotional violence.   Sometimes my sister and I would run away and hide in the fields until the battles were over.
     I found it bizarre my mother stayed with this man who abused her with words and fists, but, sadly, she did.   Each day of my life I rekindled my vows to make up with my children the lack of love and attention from my father, and by default, my mother.
     My mother would, in the aftermath of many battles, extract an old picture of my real father and then break down crying, telling me that she still loved him.  I would look at her like she was crazy, and tell her to leave my step father then, but she wouldn't.   She only wallowed in her own self-pity, her own quagmire of emotional waste.
      When my step-father made a sexual advance toward my sister, a year older than I, in our early teens, we left home and went to live with my grandmother in Oregon.   To me, that was worse than living with my stepfather and the madness of our home life that was like a minefield--at any moment one could step on a mine and the house would explode.   We all walked on eggshells, waiting for the next volcanic eruption, usually the result of too much beer, wine and booze.
      My mother had three children with my step-father.  There was always the rift in the family--"You're not my real brother, you can't tell me what to do!"
      There was also the denial, the excommunication of my older sister who now lived with my grandmother and grandfather in Cascade Locks, Oregon, a small town of just over 1,000 renowned for its Bridge of the Gods spanning the Columbia River and linking Oregon and Washington.
       I tried to stay out of the battles.

      As I grew older, I saved enough money to escape.   I wanted to go to college, and bit my tongue as often as possible until I filled the coffers with enough loot to pay my way through school.  Then, I left.
      My singular goal in life was to be a Loving Parent.
      Perhaps no goal was more important to me now that I look back.
      I wanted to give the universe what I had been deprived, to fill the crack in my own soul with the mortar of love and respect and caring for my children as sort of karmic way of healing the rip in the universe.
      I searched for the woman to be the mother of my children, a woman who agreed with me on the raising of children--who had the same romantic but yet practical ideas of how to love and teach respect to a child.
      We met and the bells rang.  I knew this was the one.
      If there is nothing else I've succeeded at in this life, I can point to my two children as my epitaph.   They symbolize the poles of my and my wife's personalities--are the the yin and yang of us.
      One daughter is a lovely mother of three children.  She is a peace activist and works with marginalized people with her husband, helping right many of the injustices served upon those less fortunate.   She recently completed her Masters of Divinity degree from Union Theological Seminary, and while she doesn't preach or evangelize (yet), she lives the life of giving with her husband to the community she serves.
       On the opposite pole is her younger sister, our second daughter.  She is a federal law enforcement agent who carries two 9mm's and daily and nightly is searching out the "bad guys," hunting them down and locking them up.
       Both are politically at different poles on most issues, but that doesn't stand between their deep loving relationship as sisters and friends.   They are one in that respect, a tribute to their ability to separate the obstacles that can stand between love of another.
       My elixir in life is often drinking up the joys of their personalities when they are together.  I quietly sit back and view the essence of my life as a father, watching two beautiful, strong, gifted, intelligent young women make an impact upon the world of their own choosing.
       Both of their careers were somewhat shocks to what I had envisioned.   But, in the final analysis, I realize they both are "saving the world" in their own private and personal ways.    They are both selfless in that respect--both Sentinels of Vigilance willing to risk their lives for others.
       As a father, nothing makes me prouder than to see my children rising up the evolutionary ladder to the beat of their own music.
       All through their upbringing, my mantra was:  "You're in school not to learn, but to learn to think!"
       In concert with my wife, we were involved in almost every aspect of their lives.   We had a single goal--to teach our children to make the best decisions for themselves, and not to be swayed by others.   We told them if they came to us and said they had done this or that because the "rest of the kids did," then we would not support them.  But, if they came to us and said, "I chose to do this, and am willing to suffer the consequences," we would fall behind them with all our support.
       But we didn't just talk.
       We worked at being Parents of Vigilance.
       From helping them with schoolwork, to insuring our home was the center of attraction for all events and laughing together often at ourselves,  we laid down the best possible grid for them to learn from.
       We also respected their opinions even if we didn't agree.
       It turned out well.
       Over the years, we have grown closer to our children, not farther from them.
       And, that brings me to the point.
       One of the most manly acts a father can perform is wrapping his arms around his children and telling them he loves them.
       For many men who have guarded their emotions, this is tough.   The idea of man being "soft" is a false belief passed on for far too many generations.
       Expressing one's love for his children is an art.  It has to come from within.  One has to break the barrier of human Terrorism to allow the free flow of love to bridge the walls that falsely warn a man "not to show emotions."
       As a former Marine, I was trained in being "tough," and I am.  But, I also learned about Courage, Conviction and Right Actions, the crucible of Vigilance.
       I learned it was O.K. to show emotions to my children, and to teach them they didn't have to believe in what I did, and that I was flawed, imperfect.
       Many times they laughed at me, and learned to say:  "Dad, that's just your opinion, right.  We have our own."
       It took a lot for me to appreciate the fact they had the right to evolve into anything they wanted to, as long as it was their choice.
       Even when I tried to "force" them into certain belief systems I cherished, they stood their ground.  They had formed their own, based on foundations of evolution my wife and I had taught them.
       By no means was I a perfect father, but I was an involved father.   I taught my children to take the best of what they saw in another, and to not take things that they didn't want.
       They did.

       Today, my children are my friends, my best of friends.
       My advice to all fathers is to insure you are building a friendship of respect with your children.  You know that exists when you can tell them anything out of love, and, in return, they can tell you anything, including admonishing you for your faults.
      Many times my children have told me how off course I was.   I respected what they said, as they hopefully respect what I say.  
      As a Father of Vigilance, my goal was to insure they didn't learn how to be children of Fear, Intimidation and Complacency--The Triads of Terrorism.
      The Pledge of Vigilance I have developed with my wife's help over the past three years is an example not just of what I believe, but a blend of my children's beliefs also.
      I have learned an inordinate amount of life from how they live their lives.   The teacher has become the student.

      If you are a father, there is no better tool for you to use to enhance your father-ship than the Pledge of Vigilance.

Take the Pledge of Vigilance and be closer to your children

     If you take the Pledge and vow to live by it, you will quickly find that it is an excellent method to bring yourself closer to your children, and to provide them with ways to communicate with you that you cannot fathom.
      Courage, Conviction and Right Actions for the Children's Children's Children sake are three big Golden Eggs you can place in your child's maturation nest.
      When you do, your children will have the training to become Sentinels of Vigilance.   And, the Beast of Terror will find it hard to take root in their lives.
       If you haven't already, become a Father of Vigilance.
      Take the Pledge of Vigilance today.


June 14--Flag Day:  Flying Flags of Vigilance or Terrorism?

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