Hi everyone! I hope your week went well. I figured that since I did a “being grateful” Mother’s Day edition, I should do one for Father’s Day, too =).

father's dayMy dad and I haven’t always been very close, mostly because we tend to clash as I inherited his personality. He can be moody, pessimistic, cynical, and extremely sarcastic. He’s told me several times we’re cursed with bad luck due to it being in the family (he was half-joking).

And from his perspective, it might seem so. My dad didn’t have an easy childhood. His mother passed away when he was a child, and his father passed away twenty years ago. He got into all sorts of crazy stuff as a teenager, and joined the Navy shortly after high school mostly to ensure he had a place to stay.

He and his father didn’t really get along, and there were several times my dad was kicked out. I’ve definitely experienced some “tough love,” but I at least always knew that my parents were there for me.

In any case, from what I’ve seen in my lifetime, my dad is a hard worker. I don’t remember him taking too many sick days later on in life, but he was fired when I was 8 due to ongoing migraines. We had just moved into our old house, and to say it was bad timing is an understatement.

My mom was only working part-time, but my dad managed to pick up a night-shift job stocking grocery shelves.

Thankfully he found a job as a Network Administrator about a year or so after that, and the tension and worries over money subsided. It was during that period, though, that I learned the value of a dollar. I don’t think my parents had said “no” to me so many times because “we can’t afford it.”

I’ve mentioned it a few times, but unfortunately that job also came to an end around ten years later. It’s a bit fuzzy, but I think somewhere in his last years there, the manager’s son took over, and decided to upheave the place.

It sucks being in that position, where you work hard, stay late, do whatever it takes to maintain the company’s database and systems, and they still fire you right before the holidays. In some ways, it was a thankless job, and my dad was miserable most of the time.

father's dayI am happy to report that since my parents moved, he’s been a lot more cheerful! Dare I say, he’s even been more sociable. There are a lot of genuinely nice people in their community, and it’s hard to avoid them when they wave and stop by to chat. My dad was working in the garage the first few months here, building and finishing furniture (the bookcase in the picture is his work). People were always curious about what he was up to, and he developed a sort of reputation from there.

My family went through a really rough time together in the four years between him losing his job and them being able to finally move. But I know it hit my dad the hardest, and sadly, he didn’t really recover from that. He was so jaded from the entire experience he couldn’t bring himself to look for another job.

It pained me, because I wanted him to get back up, and I wanted my mom to stop having to worry about finances so much. It angered me, because he was the main provider. How do you just give up like that? If I put myself in his shoes, though, I realize it’s just not that easy. I’m not making excuses here, but being 60, having no college education, and getting too comfortable to the point of not going out there and getting certified in other programs, did him no favors. Recent grads easily beat him out for the few jobs he did apply for.

We’ve all gotten past it now, though. I’ve forgiven him, and I think my mom has as well. I just wanted to see them happy, and now they are.

This post got more personal than I expected, so I’m going to end it on a positive note!

My dad has always been there for me when I needed him the most. From the moment I was born, he was alternating between my incubator and my mom’s bedside (my birth was really complicated) for 48 hours with no sleep. Whenever I ended up in the hospital, he was there to comfort me. When I went through some scary procedures that my mom couldn’t stomach being there for, he stayed.

When I had my last surgery and couldn’t fall asleep the first night at the hospital, my dad volunteered to stay the night with me to help get me through.

If I ever need to vent and need advice, I know he’ll listen and tell me life’s not easy, but I’ll get through it.

And that is why part of me will always be daddy’s girl =).

Happy Father’s Day to all the dad’s out there! What’s your most memorable moment you have of your dad?

 

22 Comments

  1. debs@debtdebs June 15, 2014 at 8:05 AM

    A very nice tribute to your Dad, E.M.! I can understand why it was hard on him. It makes me wonder if I should be kinder to my husband about his income / job prospects. He is 61 now. Does your Dad work now, E.M. and how old is he?

    Reply
    1. E.M. June 16, 2014 at 9:51 AM

      Debs, you remind me so much of my parents! My dad is currently 63, and he lost his job when he was 59. It’s very difficult to be in that spot, as you’re *so* close to “traditional” retirement, but you just don’t have the means to get there. My mom felt heavily burdened during that time. Thankfully he started collecting social security last year, which brings in a decent amount, and my mom has a pension.

      My dad becoming unemployed was pretty much the catalyst for their move last year. They couldn’t afford NY anymore, and when they sold the house they made a decent profit, so for right now they’re okay financially and neither are working. If you’d like more perspective feel free to email me =).

      Reply
  2. Tonya@Budget and the Beach June 15, 2014 at 8:34 AM

    Thanks for sharing your story. My dad and I have had our rocky times as well, but he has made such a huge effort in the last several years to communicate better and for that I really appreciate it. And even though we have a couple thousand miles separating us, he has always been there if I needed him as well. Hope you do something fun today with him.

    Reply
    1. E.M. June 16, 2014 at 9:45 AM

      Aw, that’s great to hear Tonya! That’s pretty much what happened with my dad and I. He’s always been a man of few words, but somehow we started getting into a routine of a midnight chat when I would go to say good night to him. Some of the best conversations we had were during that time.

      Reply
  3. Kassandra June 15, 2014 at 9:07 AM

    That’s great that you and your dad have a much better relationship nowadays as it can be hard to get past the shortcomings of those we love the most. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us!

    Reply
    1. E.M. June 16, 2014 at 9:44 AM

      Thanks Kassandra – I am glad we’ve been able to set aside our differences (well, similarities really!) to be closer. Your story was a great reminder to make the most of our time with our parents.

      Reply
  4. Melanie @ My Alternate Life June 15, 2014 at 1:30 PM

    I have a similar relationship with my dad. I used to be a daddy’s girl, but as I grew older, he lost his job and hasn’t worked since. It’s been a sore spot for me, and we are also both stubborn, only children so we easily clash. I’ve let some things go, as I see my parents are happy, but I still feel bad sometimes — like he isn’t living the life he is supposed to. He’s been a good dad though, and I know he makes my mom happy. Thanks for sharing your story!

    Reply
    1. E.M. June 16, 2014 at 9:43 AM

      I do feel your pain, Melanie. It was a big disappointment, mostly because my mom was making half of his salary, and he did nothing about it. When I started working, there was a bit of relief felt all around, but I didn’t feel as though I should have picked up the slack. He was able to collect social security last year, so technically the money isn’t needed anymore, but it certainly was before that point. He’s been a huge, huge help throughout the last year though, so I’ve decided to forgive and forget.

      Reply
  5. Shannon @ Financially Blonde June 15, 2014 at 3:25 PM

    I definitely understand your relationship with your dad and his tough love approach as I have one of those dads myself. It’s nice, though, to get to a place of understanding and love. This was a great tribute to him and even though you all went through a tough time, you have moved into a better place (literally and figuratively) and that is definitely something to be grateful for!

    Reply
    1. E.M. June 16, 2014 at 9:39 AM

      Thanks for understanding Shannon! I am grateful that our paths have led us to where we are right now, as we certainly didn’t have the easiest relationship even ten years ago.

      Reply
  6. Debt Busting Chick June 15, 2014 at 3:31 PM

    I appreciate you sharing that with us. I’m happy for you and your dad that things are going well for you. I don’t really know my dad, he left my mum when I was a kid and now he live quite far away so I don’t really have positive memories of him.

    Reply
    1. E.M. June 16, 2014 at 9:38 AM

      I’m sorry Nikki. My boyfriend’s mom also pulled double duty, and I think single moms have every right to celebrate Mother’s Day and Father’s Day for all their efforts!

      Reply
  7. Liz June 15, 2014 at 7:48 PM

    Thanks for sharing your story – I think my dad and I are a lot alike as well which causes us to clash at times too. It can be frustrating but I have to say our relationship is a lot easier now that we don’t live in the same house!

    Reply
    1. E.M. June 16, 2014 at 9:34 AM

      Yes, I think that’s very true for my dad and I as well! Especially with him being at home constantly for three years, there was tension at times.

      Reply
  8. Laurie @thefrugalfarmer June 16, 2014 at 7:47 AM

    Awww, what a sweet story, E.M. It’s blatantly obvious from what you’ve written here that your dad loves you and your mom with all of his heart. :-)

    Reply
    1. E.M. June 16, 2014 at 9:32 AM

      Thanks Laurie =). It’s true!

      Reply
  9. Addison @ Cashville Skyline June 16, 2014 at 8:38 AM

    Such a lovely tribute to your father! Thanks for sharing. You and your father are lucky to have each other and such a strong relationship.

    Reply
    1. E.M. June 16, 2014 at 9:31 AM

      Thanks Addison! It took a lot of work to get here, but I’m glad we did.

      Reply
  10. Andrew@LivingRichCheaply June 16, 2014 at 9:59 AM

    Thanks for sharing your story…very sweet. My father and I also butt heads sometimes, it’s probably because we’re both stubborn. He went through a similar experience as your dad…well he leased a store and when the lease increased dramatically he was forced to sell the inventory and “retire.” He tried to get another job but it was tough. He did have a college degree which he never used, and he had some opportunities for minimum wage/low paid jobs…but it was a matter of pride and he didn’t take them. He has saved and invested all his life (I got that trait from him) so they’re able to get by. In any case, it was my first father’s day. We took a picture with my father, me, and my son. That was pretty cool.

    Reply
    1. E.M. June 16, 2014 at 1:15 PM

      Everyone in my family is stubborn, so that certainly makes things a bit worse! I’m glad everything turned out okay for your dad. It really does pay to be prepared.

      Aw, that’s so awesome!! Glad you enjoyed your first Father’s Day!

      Reply
  11. Kayla @ Shoeaholicnomore June 16, 2014 at 10:35 AM

    I too am a daddy’s girl! I’m glad you have such amazing parents. Everyone has ups and downs with their parents, but knowing they are there for you when you truly need them is an awesome feeling.

    Reply
    1. E.M. June 16, 2014 at 1:13 PM

      It really is a great feeling. I’m glad your dad is there for you =). If I owned a house by myself my dad would probably find himself over quite often looking at everything! Whenever I have an issue, he’s the first person I call.

      Reply

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