Happy Birthday, Dad

Today is my dad’s birthday. Had he still been alive, he would have been 98 today.  Instead, he has been gone for a little over 18 years now.  I used to be incredibly afraid of my dad.  He was rough and could be quite angry.  His solution to most problems was to spank us.  And, by spankings, I mean making us go to the backyard and cut off a good sized branch from the willow tree.  If we didn’t get a good enough one, he would get one and would hurt even more.

Spare the rod, spoil the child?  I don’t know.  I do know that was a different time in the world and kids getting clobbered was common.  There was no call to a social worker or no call to the police.  It was just “take your medicine” time.

We were not as close as my mom and I were.  I did not seem to share my dad’s likes, except for fishing.  I was horrible at numbers, I didn’t like sports, I took care of our cars but did not enjoy doing so.  His joys were more chore for me.

I got closer to my dad in the later years of his life after a couple of mini strokes affected him.  His anger was taken away and he became a happier person.  It was quite a marked change.  Ultimately, he passed away from cancer.

Does it sound like I might have some “unresolved issues” regarding my dad?  Yeah, I probably do.  I do know that I understand those who have parent issues much better because of the way I was raised.  Good or bad, we go through things in life that make us who we are.

I pray that my dad found the peace he was always looking for while alive and I pray that, when united again, we will have a joy-filled reunion.  Happy Birthday, Dad.  Say hello to mom and grandma and grandpa for me!

Care to comment?