“Scars remind us of where we’ve been; they don’t have to dictate where we’re going.”
(Rossi, Criminal Minds)
This is way past its time, but I would like to thank my Dad, well, for being my Dad.
Back when I was growing up there wasn’t such a thing as a dysfunctional family. Families had issues and they dealt with them best they could; sometimes not so well. My family was the latter type, and a big family of 3. I won’t go into the bad and the ugly, suffice it to say there was lots of it and as I have gotten older (and hopefully wiser) I’ve come to see it wasn’t all one person’s fault, although it was certainly twisted in such a way that as a child I thought it was.
So to my Dad, thank you for loving me the best you could and the best you were allowed to. I know that even tho’ a time or two you threatened my life you would have given your life to save mine.
Thank you for making me tough, giving me a strong work ethic, for telling me to always take the time to have fun and, oddly enough, for being one of the funniest humans I’ve ever met.
I remember all the years you ranted about long-haired hippies yet, when we bought the farm in 1971, you refused to cut your hair until the old house sold. (How does 2 years sound?)
You made the best German wine on the face of the earth, smooth but lethal; even tho’ you had quit drinking years before the impromptu wine tasting parties of which you were so fond.
I remember the young smart-ass kid, studying to be an electrical engineer, who was going to show a non-college-educated old guy what it was really all about. He had no clue who he was talking to until you, quite politely, buried him with your applied knowledge of the subject. (Yes, Dad was, indeed, the best at what he did.)
When we actually lived in the ‘burbs, it was apparent that Dad was a good guy to move out to the country. The lady across the street was always snooping out her window so Dad would throw open the front door and, standing there in only his BVDs and a t-shirt, scratch in the area of his privates and wave at her. I can still hear the gasps even now but it was gobsmacking funny.
Then there was the young property tax guy who told Dad he couldn’t have his WPA outhouse out at the farm. But Dad was real proud of that outhouse. Mom and I both had to leave the scene because we were laughing so hard. I doubt if being called a Shithouse Inspector was part of that guy’s government job description. But Dad was a Navy man in WWII, a subber to boot; oh, and he paid the damn taxes around here.
I could go on, there are years of stories both bad and good and we both carried our scars, but after too many years of separation I was informed he was in a coma and dying. I went to see him and I know that, somehow, he knew I was there. We made our peace and he died an hour after I left. That was almost 20 years ago and in that time the bad memories have been replaced by so many good ones. I wish so much he was still alive; I’m grown up now, Dad, and hindsight always being 20/20 I would have made sure you were allowed to love me and I would have showered you with all the love I always felt.
Thank you, Dad, for being you. Warts and all, I love you very, very much.