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Happy Father's Day!

 
 
Reply Sun 15 Jun, 2003 07:28 am
I miss my dad. He was the greatest, strangest dad ever. I miss him. I do.

So I want to take this opportunity to wish all the other dads out there a happy father's day. Dads make such a big difference in who you grow up to be.

I especially want to wish all those foster dads, surrogate dads, proxy dads, brother dads and all of the other men out there who care enough to try to make a difference in the life of a child, a happy father's day.

I've always liked the verb definition of mother: to nourish, nurture and protect, above the noun definition. In this sense, my father mothered. My husband mothers.

Maybe its time to define the word father in the same way.

I welcome stories about your dad and stories of fathering here.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 0 • Views: 2,359 • Replies: 41
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Jun, 2003 07:57 am
I never knew my Dad. I am still trying to learn where and how he died. But, speaking as a father of four, thanks, boomerang.
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SealPoet
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Jun, 2003 08:06 am
I remember your grief when you lost your father, boomerang. broke my heart from across a continent.

In some ways I lost my own father, although he is still living. Don't know what I can do to break the impasse... Can't change others as easily as changing myself... very sad.

But my boys are here today! I am feeling very loved, and loving them very much. Later we will see my step-son and his love for dinner.

This morning I told Mrs. SealPoet that I was sorry not to father a child of hers. She said I was the best father her son ever had.
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boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Jun, 2003 08:29 am
It breaks my heart that everyone can't have a dad like mine.

I know that moms can be dads too. You grew up to be a good man, edgar so I can only assume that your mom was a good mom and dad.

Mr. B always calls his step dad before his bio-dad on father's day or with news or whatever else. He knows about lost dads too, SealPoet. Ms. SealPoet is one smart lady. Have a great day with your kids.
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blueveinedthrobber
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Jun, 2003 11:05 am
My dad was the biggest prick that ever walked as far as I'm concerned. He sired and deserted children coast to coast. I am exactly like him, by all accounts the most like him of all the children (10), and I have worked hard not to be him. My kids are at home.

He showed up on my doorstep when I was 25, when things had gone downhill for him and he smelled like liquor and said he thought it was time we got to know each other. I told him it was too late and physically threw him off my property. I never saw him again. My only feelings were anger over the fact that he had become to broken down for me to get any satisfaction from beating the living hell out of him. I hated him.

When he died, not one of his children went to the funeral. My step mother, another real winner, called and asked if I wanted to come or send money for flowers. I asked her if she just didn't want me to send her liquor instead of money.and eliminate the middle man.

I am over hating him, but my bitterness towards my family shaped me into who I am today, and caused me a lot of problems for many years.

Meanwhile i got breakfast in bed, a new bottle of Drakar, some mint Yes LP's to matte and frame, and emails from my out of town grown up children. You get back what you put in I guess.
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Jun, 2003 11:19 am
Bear, you are one hell of a great guy. It is a wonder you became that way on reading your story. I salute you.
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boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Jun, 2003 11:28 am
Edgar is right.

And you're right too Bear, your father was a prick.

I'm glad that his lack of care for his children died with him.

I was faced with picking out a father's day card for Little Mo to give his dad today. (Little Mo, for those of you who don't know, is the little kid who lives with me and Mr. B) "You're the greatest dad ever" type cards were all over the place but they certainly weren't appropriate here. I finally found one that read "Have a wild and crazy father's day" which seemed appropriate for the dear ole' thing. It's clear that someone at Hallmark had a crappy dad too.
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blueveinedthrobber
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Jun, 2003 11:36 am
well, i wasn't fishing for compliments, but thanks. Smile
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jespah
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Jun, 2003 11:53 am
Talked to my father today (who gave me painting advice) and to my brother (who regaled me with tales of work). Tonight we call my father-in-law. :-D
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boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Jun, 2003 12:12 pm
I'm not one to hand out complements willy-nilly, Bear. I've read your posts about the cubs, about one cub in particular. I know how hard it's been and you amaze me.

Here's a little story about my dad that you all may enjoy, it's one of my favorite memories of him:

First, to say my father was offbeat would be an understatement. In fact, in a world of conformity and expectaions the man had no rhythm. Despite this, he danced through life; a life that was often hard with heartbreak. He wanted his children to dance too.

With such a great teacher I was a pretty good dancer by the time I got into high school. Deciding to stay home from school was fine as was cutting class, if I applied myself to something we were okay. As long as I showed up on test days and passed the classes he understood that utter boredom didn't have to be a part of my education.

Unfortunately the school didn't feel the same way and my excessive absences soon outweighed my good scores. The principal decided to take action and my father was summoned to a meeting to discuss his delinquent daughter.

My father arrived wearing a suit! I didn't even know he owned one! For the first time I started to get a little worried.

Looking stern and serious dad sat down with the principal and listened to the story of my misspent youth. He nodded. He scowled. Then he gently told the principal that he thought I was old enough to make my own decisions about attending class. He believed that if I felt that the school was wasting my time that I was probably right - I was certainly the best judge of that. He believed that I was motivated to graduate and that if I failed a grade it would be my responsiblity to repeat it so it was my decision to figure out what I should do.

The principal gaped. I beamed.

I got a real ass chewing when I got home that night too.

I did graduate, without, it should be noted, having to repeat any grades. I was accepted at competitive universities where I soon learned that class time was no longer a waste.

And I learned to dance.
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boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Jun, 2003 12:14 pm
I wish I could call my brother to wish him a happy father's day. He is, I mean to tell you, one of the greatest dads of all time. King Dad.

It's cool that you called your brother, jespah.

He's in Baghdad today. I hope he has as happy a day as possible.
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blueveinedthrobber
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Jun, 2003 12:22 pm
great story boomerang your dad sounds cool.

When my cubs are in the wrong about something at school, if they get into trouble, which is seldom, I discipline them fairly but sternly. Trouble at school, trouble at home.

However, if I feel the school is in the wrong, which has happened, I will defend my cubs most bluntly, and damn the schools if they don't like it. Although my cubs have had many great teachers, I have found, all my life , that most administrators are total assholes with no concern other than staying in the office and out of the trenches. Conversely, they are the ones who seem to expect and demand respect and honor just because they're in an office.

My cubs owe them nothing but civility and manners as far as I'm concerned.
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blueveinedthrobber
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Jun, 2003 12:25 pm
PS I better give squinney all credit too, she deserves it. Very Happy
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eoe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Jun, 2003 12:38 pm
My father passed away in 2000. He was very smart, very handsome, humorous, well respected, a great father but a lousy husband (my mother was wife #3). He drank way too much for way too many years but just like that he quit and did not drink for the last 15 years of his life. I'll always admire him for that. He was impatient, did not suffer fools gladly, selfish, meanspirited, gossipy and quite hateful. Whenever I acted up, from the time I was a kid, my mother would snarl that I was just like him. I struggle not to be just like him, not those traits anyway, everyday. He was disciplined, focused, had a keen business sense. Went back to school in his 50's to study accounting, passed the classes with straight A's and then started his own business. In his late 50's. He and my mother split up but they stayed married, and remained friends, for over 30 years, until they died. That old son of a bitch was something else, I tell you. Thought the sun rose and set on me. And in turn, I lived to please him.
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boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Jun, 2003 12:43 pm
At least the old son of a bitch recognized his treasure, eoe.

And yes, a happy day to the much missed Squinney too, Bear.
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Jun, 2003 12:56 pm
God bless us, every one.
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Eva
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Jun, 2003 02:08 pm
What I wouldn't give to be able to talk to my father one more time...

My father was a change-of-life baby, born when his own father was 50. His mother died in a car wreck when he was 9, leaving him to pretty much fend for himself. (His father was of the generation where men did not "do" child-rearing.) Despite the lack of attention, he muddled through, and when it came his time to be a father, he was determined to do it better. He began working from home when I, the oldest of three, was 10. He was always around to talk with us, debate with us, to take us places, tell us jokes, pass on family history, and help us with whatever we needed. He structured his entire life in order to be able to be there for his kids. I got to know him much better than most people ever get to know their fathers.

Sadly, his health began to decline when he was in his 60s. He went downhill rather rapidly. After a series of small strokes and subsequent carotid artery surgery, colon surgery, lupus, and emphysema (bordering on full-time oxygen use), all in the space of two years, he gave up. He couldn't stand the idea that he, the one on whom everyone had always depended, was becoming dependent on others for everyday matters. He decided to take himself out, sparing himself further agony and sparing the rest of us the necessity of caring for him, as well as a financial burden. While I firmly believe this was his right, I do wish he had been able to communicate this to us before he took his life. Instead, our last remembrances of him are profoundly sad ones. Some of us will never get over it.

If I could say anything to him now, 13 years later, it would be that I understand his decision. And that despite his arrogance, bigotry, hardheadedness and neverending intensity, he was a wonderful father and an admirable man. He taught me to think for myself. To laugh whenever possible. To cut myself some slack. To play fair. To have confidence in myself.

I was so blessed. I miss him.
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boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Jun, 2003 02:24 pm
Thank you for sharing your story of him with us, Eva.
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eoe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Jun, 2003 03:14 pm
Oh Eva. The hole he left in your heart is felt.
My father did it his way, as well, but not like that. He was truly lucky in that he knew that he was dying, chosing not to have the surgery that may have prolonged his life, and spent the last two years getting his house in order. He lived alone, preferred it that way and stubbornly refused to go into a nursing home until he just couldn't take care of himself any longer. My brother signed Daddy in on a Thursday and he died that following Monday. 3 days. A friend who knew him, in all his stubborn glory, said that it was a wonder we didn't find a note attached to his gown reading "I told you I didn't want to come here." Laughing
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Eva
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Jun, 2003 10:54 pm
Thank you, boomerang and eoe.

Yes, his death did leave a hole in my heart, although not a real one like the bullet left in his. Don't worry about an unfortunate choice of words, eoe...it's okay, you didn't know. It has actually helped me unlock some feelings. Your empathy is greatly appreciated. Fathers' Day really blindsided me. I didn't expect it to hit me this hard, after all these years. Fortunately, my heart is healing. Unfortunately, the healing process is sometimes painful itself. I'm sure you know what I mean.

Thank you for your story, eoe. I am still laughing. I see our fathers had the same sort of determined stubbornness. I suspect I have inherited it. How about you?!
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