Monday, June 18, 2012

Father's Day

Well yesterday is one of my toughest days of the year.  You see, if you read any of these musings, you know I struggle desperately with my role as a father.  I truly think I have failed my son as a Father.

My Father, we have talked about him for ages here.  A great man, a provider, caregiver, lover of my Mother, and stable home we always had. But let’s talk father.  We didn’t do much together as he was always working so my Mother could stay at home with us.  Most of my memories of my Father are him sitting at the kitchen table feet on the washing machine smoking and talking to my mother.  His other favorite place, sitting in his chair in his underwear watching T.V., always tired, always planning his next trip to work.  I can remember he took me to play golf a couple of times, fishing a few others.  When I turned 18 he took me with him to watch him play in his band that was probably my coolest memory of him.  Were we close, I have always thought we were.  What did he teach me about being a Father?  You take care of your kids and try to make them into adults.  You try to make sure when you are gone they can make it without you around.  I can remember him telling me it was his job to make sure he left the world with a man not a burden.  I think he did his job.  What about other father’s I know?

What about my friend’s fathers?  Well they are all gone now but my memory is that they were just like my dad.  Always working and always trying to make us into adults.  My two closest friends and I were really raised by three sets of parents. The funny thing was the rules were basically the same at all three houses.  I think we have all turned out to be good adults. We all have kids and they are all completely different from each other.  I have seen and known several men I thought were good Fathers.  My adopted sister’s husband comes to mind as well.  Four children each what many call “perfect kids”.  I am blessed to be very close to the family so I know they are not all perfect.  Now they are as close as any I have every encountered but perfect, now well behaved and adjusted?  Amen, an in spades. 

So where did I take a wrong turn at the Cirlce K?   Where did I lose the ability to parent or make a difference, or influence my son’s life?  I have a young man who absolutely refuses to listen to one piece of advice I offer.  Who looks for my core values and then mocks them as if they were the stupidest things a human being could believe.  Not only is that, but then tries to ague that they are not believeable and that anyone who believes like I do is a moron.  His words!!  We never talk.  We only scream at each other.  He walks into a room and my blood pressure rises at least 20 points.  The last time we were together I had to call a doctor afterwards because I thought I was having a heart attack.  This cannot be normal.   I know it’s not because I see other families who love each other and can’t wait to get together and share family time.  The only time I hear from my son is when he is in need.  He has never called me once time to say hey dad what’s up.  Now all of the conversations start out that way but then there is the, hey I need a favor or I got to have this or that.  When I tell him all he wants is money or work done on his car or anything else then he hits me with its all about the money or all about the material things to me. Well I guess so because from my view that’s all our relationship is him needing, me providing.  I guess my father providing I got but he would have never provided for me if all I ever did was piss him off I can promise. 

I can’t blame my inability to be a Dad on my son.  He tells me all the time I don’t know him.  How can you get to know someone who assaults you at every turn?  Who takes everything you believe in and makes fun of it.  A young man who anytime you open your month to try to get to know him turns the conversation into some kind of twisted psycho analysis of your thoughts and how you are simple minded and need help.  Is this a person anyone wants to know?  I think not.  

So we have another Father Day behind us.  I missed my Dad yesterday.  I was trying to remember did I honor him enough when he was here?  Did I always thank him for his sacrifices during my formative years, the years he worked all of those jobs so we could be home with my Mom.  All of those late night and sleepless days he kept up the pace so we could have what we needed.  As I sit here now I know I didn’t do enough.  I surely hope that he knows I meant too.  I should have hugged him more; I should have told him I loved him more.  Even if he didn’t tell me back.  I should have taken him to lunch more when I had the chance.  Man I miss him. 

Maybe my son is my Karma, for not doing all of those things for a man who sacrificed so much for me?  If so, then as they say Karma is a bitch!!  My son and I will never be close because neither of us is willing to take the others point of view.  I simply can’t compromise my values and give into his unrealistic ramblings as the way it is.  He can’t never see himself as a member of society working and being a part of the solution and not the problem.  My words there, not his.

So I guess Fathers Day will always be a test for me.  I will never be Ward Clever for sure.  And my son will NEVER be the Beav.  Eddie Haskell maybe!!  There will never be the closing scene of the Walton’s at my house either with all of the Goodnight Grandpa’s, Goodnight John Boy.  I will have to simply accept that fatherhood is not that for me.  I will continue my efforts to leave the world a man and not a burden.  Hope all of your Fathers days are happy and loved filled.

Happy Fathers Dad, I miss and Love you very much.


The Blessed Man

Sunday, June 10, 2012


We have all heard the analogies used around the apple.  On bad apple spoils the bunch, an apple a day and numerous others.  Well my favorite for many years has been one my granny used to say about wild children and their parents; “The apple didn’t fall far from the tree”  I have heard it a million times.  Mostly about a few of my wild cousins during our formative years and we were experimenting with shall we say life.  I was blessed to always be smart enough to never be the first to yell “Hey y’all watch this” another great saying from the south!  In case you didn’t know nothing good ever happens once this has been shouted!!

Well I digress.   As you might have read my family is a tad split for the time being.  The wife is in Florida with the kids, read cats, and I am holding down the home front trying to get the house on the market to sell.  Well this leaves me to my own devises and that could be scary.  Well in steps my adopted sister watching me as if I was one of her own “Chickens”, read kids there as well.  I think I have eaten every meal with them since the wife departed.  And they are wonderful times.  How special is it I have two places to call home?  There and Florida. 

Well last night I had the extreme pleasure of having dinner with the youngest child of my adopted family and sister.  And here is where the saying comes into play.  I called and asked her if she had dinner plans.  Her husband, a pilot, is gone some and her, a student in an accelerated nursing program she doesn’t see the light of day often between studying and the brief moments she sees her husband.  Who deserves a complete post of his own a more special young man I haven’t met.  She said no, I said come eat with me.  She seemed excited and we went to dinner.  At a funky kind of place in a midtown area of our city, where all the artsy, earth shoed, laid back people live.

Now this is a special young lady whom I have seen grow up from the age of about 12 I am guessing.  She, like her mother, is a stunning beautiful woman.  However, she is special as she doesn’t have a bit of air about her.  And, like her mother, more beautiful on the inside, caring, thoughtful, concerned, attentive when in conversation, and allowing in every part of her life that I see anyway.  Well as we sat there last night I was totally blown away as we talked.  It had to be like talking to her mother 25 years ago.  Has a plan, knows where she is going and can’t wait for the next chapter.  She graduates in December and will either return to school or work a bit depends on how she feels I am guessing.  As we sat outside on an unusually pretty night here for this time of year I was struck with the saying “The Apple didn’t fall from the tree” and what a precious apple this one is.  I think we all have moments when we wished our children turn out like someone else’s.  You know the kids that seem to be perfect.  Well this child is one of those.  Now I will add a sidebar that I know this child is not perfect.  However, she is close I have been around during times she had troubles like when she wrecked her new car the day she got it!!!  But I still believe it couldn’t have been her fault!!  Yes, I love this child. 

I had a blast and for a brief moment got to be with this wonderful young woman with no one else around.  As I think back I can’t remember ever being granted that pleasure.  I have always loved her but last night was special because I had her full attention.  It was like when I am with her Mother and it’s just us, rare.  It’s like when I am with my wife and it’s just us rarer still.  There is something about one or one conversations with the people you love that are more special than when you are in a group even if the group is family.  I will always treasure last night.  More than likely she just saw it as a dinner with one of her Mom’s friends.  I saw it as dinner with a daughter I could only dream of having.  I promise, like her parents, I would be one proud father!!

This wouldn’t be a complete parent child  post without the mention of my son.  Did that apple fall far from the tree?  A question that is so debatable that it would take years to answer.  Do I love him, of course?  Is he like me?  Not in my mind or the mind of anyone who knows me.  However, I find it so unreal that he claims publicly and loudly to be exactly like I am.  Now anyone who knows him laughs out loud whenever he says it and he seems to almost get mad.  I have no clue what to do about that.  I want to make sure and say I am proud of him.  We disagree on every issue we ever talk about.  We have nothing in common; however, god love him for standing up for what he sees as just and right.  Something sometimes I was never strong enough to do.  So did that apple fall far from the tree, I say he isn’t in my orchard, but he is mine whether thrown over the fence or simply dropped by the gods as a test to me he is mine.

So as I look at the contrast of these 2 very special young people mine the opposite of the one I wish he could be; her, the absolute picture of what we all would want as a daughter.  I wish both of these special young people the best life they can make.  And I only hope my sister knows how special her apple is that fell so close to the trunk it is scary I am so proud for her and the daughter.

Well I think I will go find that picture of my granny and my dad and thank them for everything they did for me during my years.  I can only hope that someone one day will compare me to either of my parents, could there be a high complement given to a person.  I think not.


The Blessed Man

Monday, June 4, 2012


We are cat people. I know that some of you can’t understand that but we are. But not just any cats we have Cornish Rex cats. These are special cats that act more like dogs than cats. They come when you call them and really need to be around people strange as that sounds they are a lot of fun and hypo-allergenic as well. Now I tell you that to start my story.

As most of you know we have been blessed to get a place in The Villages Florida. This has been a wonderful experience and we are finally settling in down there. The house has been totally repainted, thank you adopted sister and company. We have purchased 2 golf carts and are really making the place ours.

Well this past weekend we made a larger commitment to The Villages and we moved the wife and the cats down. Our logic is it is much easier to sell a house that doesn’t have cat boxes in it than one that does. So the wife and the kids have moved leaving me in this huge house all alone. Now I agreed to this whole heartedly and agree with all of the logic. However, when I returned home yesterday and walked in the house it was like our home has no soul anymore. It’s a feeling I have felt one other time. After my Dad died my Mother never spent another moment in the family home. I came back after the funeral and moved my mother up to live with her mother. When I walked into that house the first time after my Dad and Mother were gone it felt the same way. It is strange. The house is full of furniture. Everything is exactly the same however, it’s like the life has been pulled from the home. I sat there last night trying to put the feelings aside but they wouldn’t leave. I am not a nut case; in our married life my wife has traveled for a living. She has taken trips that took her away for more than two weeks many, many times. I never felt like this. Now before we start the pity party all of this is for a very important reason. Once the house sells then I can start thinking about moving down there. So this is a necessary evil as they say. I write this as a simple expression of a set of feeling much like the others I write about on these pages, strange but real to me.

I am in good hands. I have my adopted sister and numerous others who often ask me over for dinner and fun. I have my work that keeps me busy most nights until later than I like. I have the house here in need of many things to get it ready to become someone new dream home. However, for the meantime it’s still my home. Scratch that our home and it needs some work. So I will work on it until my angel returns which I have been promised will be at least every two weeks. I will also head down there whenever possible. So again I am in transition. What a blessing to be moving towards something that you want so badly it almost hurts. I want to be down there so badly I really cannot explain it. This place is special. But we have already talked about that.

How blessed can one man be to have a full understanding of exactly what a loving home feels like? Can you only imagine the people who daily walk into a building they call home? No special feeling, no over whelming feeling of love, no excitement they you have returned from work. I have 2 places I can feel that today, my adopted sister’s house, and my home in the Villages. Sadly there are thousands of people who never know this and I have had that feeling in every house I have ever lived in and a few that I do not.

So I guess I need to start packing. I have an appointment with destiny and I can’t wait to get down south to my new home. I will be totally focused on selling the house I live in now.

Never dreamed I would ever miss those damn cats!!!!!!


The Blessed Man