Sunday, June 16, 2013

Father's day...

My dad and I have always had a complicated relationship.  There are many things about him that I admire.  The oldest son of nine kids, he helped his mother raise her kids and dealt with his father, a nice man who happened to have a serious drinking problem.  He made it through college and almost 22 years in the Air Force, then started his own business that was reasonably successful and is now owned by the woman he had the good sense to hire in 1989 when she came to him looking for a job.  He's stayed married to my mom for 55 years and helped her raise four kids.

When I was growing up, sometimes my dad could be a lot of fun.  He's a bit of an adrenaline junkie, though his current health status doesn't allow him to do anything really dangerous now.  He's intelligent and hard working and has a good sense of humor.  When he was a young man, he was very handsome.  And he's always been a good provider.  Many people thought he had a beautiful singing voice when he could still sing.  Prolonged time with a tube down his throat has ruined his voice, but he still loves music.  He was a pillar in our community and many people like him for his friendly personality.

Unfortunately, I never really got along with my dad the way I would have wanted to.  We fought a lot as I was growing up, and when I was a young woman.  He never appreciated my sense of humor or the fact that I'm strong-willed and have strong opinions.  My dad has never liked women with strong opinions.  My mom has opinions, but she's reserved and doesn't argue with him.  My dad also used to get on my case because he thought I was too fat.  He used to say and do things to me when I was growing up that remain etched on my psyche today.  As the youngest kid, I dealt with the brunt of his drinking problem and the way it changed his personality.  Since he ran a business out of our home, he was always around and there was always a chance that he would pick a fight with me over something.  It was stressful growing up in that environment.

I love him anyway.  I think he never dealt with his demons.  It looks like he never will.

I wished my husband a happy father's day today, even though he hasn't felt like a dad in many years.  It makes me sad that his kids have missed out on knowing him.  He's a wonderful guy and would have been an excellent father to them, given a chance.  I wish I could have had a child with him.

Anyway, we'll enjoy father's day with the dogs... and hopefully, today will be somewhat peaceful.



2 comments:

  1. Your father sounds like a very complex man. I can understand your difficulties, as once someone starts picking at a young girl because o her weight, nothing good can come of that.

    My dad and I had our share of conflict while I was growing up, but in retrospect,when he was home, and he did travel a considerable amount, he usually played the bad guy if there needed to be one because my mom never totally regained her previous energy level after having leukemia. After a full day's work, some of which would have been with kids, she lacked either the energy or the patience to deal with any major kid problems.

    In retrospect,she should not have worked, as my dad made ample income to support us, but they put so many of my cousins on my dad's side (the LDS side)through college that their savings would have been compromised without her income, which was relativly substantial. If they'd just learned to say no about fifteen years ago they'd be a lot richer, but maybe it's easier for them to to sleep at night. They now tell the nieces and nephews to hit the grandparents up, because they have a lot more money than my parents do, and they're the ones who encouraged their children to multiply like rabbits when most of them couldn't afford it.
    Right now they're helping, with two other uncles, to pay for the cost of living and education of my cousin who was cut off by his parents when he left his mission in South America for life-threatening health reasons. They say that's a totally different case.

    Anyway, my dad and I will always argue, as that seems to be how we communicate with one another, but we've worked out our differences, and I can see now that he was the best father that he could have been under sometimes difficult circumtances.

    Sometimes dogs are better children than children are. My mom told me that she does not regret having us one bit, but that not all women or men are cut out for parenthood, and that if either my brother or I decided that we are among that category of people, we should not have children. I know your situation wasn't voluntarily childless, but you seem to be playing the hand you were dealt quite well. You have a great life.

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  2. My dad is very complex. A lot of people like him... or they did when he was still in his right mind. There were many times when I loved him, but didn't like him. I don't hate him for the things he said and did to me when I was growing up... but having him for a dad makes me all the angrier than my husband's daughters have been such creeps. Because my husband is the kind of guy who would make an excellent father. He's kind and generous to a fault and doesn't have an abusive bone in his body. My dad probably would have been more like my husband had he not been a depressive alcoholic with PTSD.

    I can't believe how generous your parents are, helping to put your cousins through college. That goes above and beyond the duty of family. They must be really good people.

    My dogs are probably better "kids" for me than regular kids would be. I wouldn't want to pass on family baggage and today's problems to an innocent child. Life is hard and seems to be getting harder. I always did want children and I often wonder what a child with Bill would have been like. But we do have a good life and enjoy each other's company very much. We have a great marriage, too. Maybe that should be enough.

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