We all have one. When we are little, they seem to be larger than life. This can be positive or negative, depending on your Dad, of course. As a girl, you know and trust that Dad will protect and provide for you. I can only assume it is the same for boys.
We get a lot from our parents. How relationships work, how they don’t. How to trust or not trust, how to love, how to hate. Being a parent is a hugh responsibility. Some people are meant to be parents, some not. No matter which type of parent you think you are or will become, know that you have a great impact on the little ones that depend on you every day.
My Dad was very dedicated to us when we were young. He worked 2 jobs and my mother was able to stay at home, which was a great thing. When we four kids grew older, around 10-15, he took a job with the post office which is where he retired. We always took great vacations – camping, boating, going to other states and national parks. It was a blast and those are times I will always cherish.
My dad was also “the enforcer.” You know that line, “wait till your father gets home,” well we heard it a lot. Or maybe it was just something us kids understood without the actual words being said. We knew if we were giving mom grief or we were fighting a little too much, that we would be in trouble when Dad got home, so we were basically “scared” into being good kids. I guess that’s the point, right?
Around my 7th or 8th grade year my Father changed. Maybe it was the fact that my two older brothers were at those difficult teenage years. Maybe it was because his own memories of this teenage years came back to him (Whatever that was) and he couldn’t disconnect from the anger, hurt , guilt or abuse from his own past. I don’t know. Towards me he became more controlling and became physically abusive. Towards my brothers he just became mean and we all suffered his psychological abuse. No matter the reason, It happened, and it is a part of my past and who I am. It always will be. But the past is the past, and it is important to understand and accept that.
As you grow older, the larger than life persona that is Dad fades away, as we come to realize he is just a man, just a human being like everyone else. He has his faults, flaws, hang-ups…just like the rest of us. There comes a time in every adult’s life where we can either blame our parents for the way our lives turned out, or we can forgive and move on to the reach the other side…to individuality, strength, self-worth and love. It’s a much better road, I assure you.
I forgave my Dad along time ago. He sits in a Alzheimer’s home currently. He has forgotten the life of abuse he inflicted. It’s convenient I guess. His guilt is also forgotten and he spends his time in “no time” with “no body.” He lost his entire family due to his inability to search his soul, face himself and his demons, and do what is right with the responsibility of raising a family.
I used to be sad on Father’s Day. But now, I just remember the good man, the man I knew he was before whatever latched onto him took him to dark places that he did not have the strength to battle. Before he lost site of Love and of himself.
So Dad, I love the man you once were…..and I miss him….. terribly. I know you have found peace in the empty space of no memories. I know I have found peace. And found happiness and strength in the fact that I have created the life I am so very proud of.
So as Father’s day passes again, remember your Dad. The good, the bad, the struggles, the joys…and bless the man that created the wonderful, strong, beautiful person that is YOU!
Love, Peace and Happiness
Veronica Crystal Young