The Failings of My Father

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For Fathers Day this year my wife and I went down to Rhine to spend some time with her family….the close knit nature of my wife’s family is something foreign to me, I was raised by a single mother whos only family was a state away and for the most part avoided my paternal family once my grandmother died. My wife’s family, as many faults as I may find with them (and them me), sticks together for the most part, Monica’s great-grandmother died a few years ago at the age of 94 and her grandparents are still solid foundations for the family. Everyone lives within half a mile of one another….everyone but us.

Monica’s grandfather is down on his health right now though, he was in bed all day today and that is something very uncommon for this man, who still works 7 days a week with his logging company. His being sick is scary for the family, at one point today my mother-in-law went in to see him and fought back tears when she came back out. She said that I should call or go see my dad and I didn’t know what to say at the time.

Now that my wife and I are home though, I have thought about it a bit. I understand my mother-in-law’s position, she was raised in a loving home by loving parents and had grandparents that were there until just recently. Both of her parents are strong willed, kind hearted folks that put their family first. They have always been there to help when someone needs it, so I can understand celebrating the sacrifices of people like that.

I have discussed my father in short before on my blog, I don’t talk about him a whole lot because there really isn’t a whole lot to say. My dad, for as long as I can remember, has been an addict. He has abused both alchohol and narcotics in ways that would easily kill most people, these abuses have caused him to have multiple strokes and he currently is unable to take care of himself. He was also an abuser of women, he hit my mother and other women and has caused some pretty serious damage to them emotionally as well. When he was around in my life he was hard, strong handed against me for the slightest offense. I remember him taking me behind my grandmothers house and beating the crap out of me for my first B in 3rd grade. I’ve feared him for the entirety of my life, even though I might go years in between seeing him every time he would show up my emotional stability would spiral out of control.

During my senior year in high school he just showed up one night, a few days later he moved in and started living here again…it had been at least 5 years since I had seen him in any worthwhile capacity. He came in as if nothing had ever happened, I went from being the man of the house to being a prisoner of emotion and fear that was supposed to submit to his authority, I don’t remember how long he stayed, but that was one of the most difficult times of my life,how my mother could allow him to stay after such an aweful history with the man is beyond me.  He wasn’t even drinking or drugging at the time…he was still himself though, belligerent, mean, and a user of people.

I think I have a perfectly valid reason for not contacting this man, he has never been anything for me. He has abused everyone he has ever known, expected to be taken care of in his sickness, and used everyone he has ever known. I am not losing or gaining anything at all upon his death, I have said that before, I can’t celebrate him or call him because he doesn’t deserve it.

My message today is this: If you have a better father than I have, love him, celebrate him, thank him, and appreciate everything that he is. If not, don’t give him more than he deserves.

Happy Father’s day to you great fathers out there, including my Father-in-law and Grand-father-in-law.

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