Thursday, July 22, 2010

My father

This is going to be relatively short.
My parents married young. My mother was 18, my father was, I think, 23. And despite the odds, the lasted 11 years. My father was a good father when they were married, despite the fact that, I found out later, he was a practicing alcoholic.
He coached baseball, he showed my brother and I around the workshop, he took an interest in our schooling.
Then the folks divorced. Not amicably.
My father, for a time, lived in an apartment in Maplewood. Then he moved to Arkansas. And that's when the disappearing act began. We'd see him infrequently. Hear from him infrequently.
Sometimes, he would drive up from Arkansas and see us, for a day. Sometimes, we would go down there and see him, usually at my grandparent's insistence.
This went on and off like that for years. Until around the time I was 18, I stopped hearing from him altogether. It hurt. But not as much as when I was younger and longed to see my father, to hear from him, and didn't or couldn't.
By the time I was 20 or so, I just kind of figured that was that. I remember, when I wast SEMO, I got a call from my brother saying our father had had a stroke. I didn't know what to say. I called him and basically said, "I heard you had a stroke. That sucks." That was about all I could say. We now had absolutely nothing to talk about.
For the next six odd years it continued like that. I didn't even invite him to my wedding.
Then, one day, I found out that my brother had been talking with my father. I asked him for the number. My brother was reluctant to give it, afraid, I think, that I was going to lay into my father and scare him away again. That was tempting, but I had to talk to him. I had to find out why we were so easy to put in the rear view mirror.
Well, of course he said we weren't. He thought about us everyday. OK, then why not try and get in contact. Why did Eric have to track you down again? Why not try and find us? He thought I had decided I was done with him. And at that point I had. But, I decided, against all logic, to give him one last shot. I told him, this is it. You disappear again, I am done. And the onus is on you to do the heavy lifting.
Over the last few years, or relationship has been repaired to a certain degree. I guess there will always be a sense of mistrust on my part. But, as long as he is doing his part, I am willing to give it a go.
I could've said more about this, I guess. But why? It is what it is. I am sure, my feeling towards my father in my early, and angry, 20s led to some of the anger control issues I had then. But, as I have said before, those anger control problems are behind me.

1 comment:

  1. God bless you buddy. You did alright for yourself.