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 =).
My 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.
I 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?