Father’s Day Issues
A week before Fathers Day, you see people changing their social media pictures to pictures of their father, or a picture of them with their father. It’s great that people do that. I will admit that I am jealous or envious of their relationship. Or well the one that they paint for people to see.
My father Duane was born March 5,1945. The was the 5th child of the 6 my grandparents had. Ive heard stories about things when he was a kid. My dad and mom married in 1971. and after two boys, I came around complete the family in 1983.
My father worked. He worked in coal mines in Wyoming. When we moved to Kentucky he drove a semi, and worked at some places I don’t remember. He always had this “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” personality. You never knew what kind of mood he was going to be in. That was how his mood was all of the time it when I was growing up. This is an example of most of our family pictures. We were thrilled! Yes, this was the ’80’s, and yes I’m that little blonde child.
Even in to my adult life, I had a strained relationship with my father. My parents divorced after being married for 35 years. He eventually went to Alaska. Before he left he wasn’t taking care of himself. He was a horrible diabetic. While in Alaska, he had a leg amputated. He eventually came here to be taken care of. Literally, taken care of. He lost something in him to even try to take care of him self. He was happy to let others take care of him. It was a hard choice to put him in a nursing home, but I couldn’t take care of him, and my brothers weren’t able to as well. I wasn’t emotionally and physically strong enough. It bothered me that here is a man that was 62, and was giving up on life cause he just had one leg. There were some personal things that happened, and it led me to become very bitter with my father. I didn’t see him much then. His health declined more, lost his other leg. My brothers would see him. I just couldn’t.
I stayed bitter with him until the day he died. I had plenty of time to make things right with him. We knew his health was getting worse each day. I wondered if I had been stronger would I have gone and seen him before he died and tried to not be bitter? Tell him why I was angry with him? Could I tell him with out crying and showing weakness? Tell him that I was divorcing my husband, that I was scared. Have him meet the man I was starting to dating to maybe get a glimpse of approval from him. Tell him one last time that even though he was a rough man to have as a father, that I loved him. I didn’t. I’m hardheaded like him. I was scared that I would get there and he wouldn’t know me. I didn’t know which option was worse.
Dad’s funeral was a different experience. I’ve heard people become angels when they die. A cousin preached the funeral. He did a great job. But honestly, I had no clue who’s funeral I was at. Who was this man he was talking about? I knew nothing of these stories and the man in them. He was talking about how dad played jokes and did fun stuff. It seemed like it was dad before 1976, the person he was while my cousin was still young. I don’t know. I’m glad that he had memories like that. I sure didn’t.
With the attitude and having the upbringing from my father I learned a lot from him. Or well, what not to do. Sleep in on the weekends! We’d have to be up at 7 am for no reason on a Saturday. He told us if he was awake so we should be too. That didn’t include the nap he would have in his chair because he was having a food coma from his carb fabulous breakfast. I remember things like this a lot.
My temper can get like my dads, I wont lie. But I don’t want to have that horrible temper of his. I did learn most of my colorful use of language from him. My favorite line was “I’m just so mad I can’t see straight!” I never really understood what that meant. But looking back now when he was throwing stuff and mumbling who knows what makes me giggle, as a kid noooo.. You just sat and watched that train wreak happen.
I can honestly tell you that I wish I would’ve made that choice to visit dad before he passed, but I don’t either. I have a necklace that I wear that has my dad’s fingerprint on it. It makes me remember him. Think of things. I visit his grave. I talk to him. It eases me. I think about it, and even though he was a hard man to live with, I wouldn’t want have wanted another father. I wouldn’t want to change the way I grew up!