Father’s Day Musing
It’s Father’s Day. Today, we get to “Thank Dad’s” for all the things they do.
The truth is that my father was a harsh, brutal, cold disciplinarian. He ran his household with a military reign. He was in the army at age 16. He must have been a good soldier because his children learnt to be good ones, too. Intense physical discipline wasn’t out of the question. It could get quite bad. But, today is a day to remember Father’s in a good way. Here’s a memory that has some happy moments.
We went to the beach twice a month from May to August until I was seven years old; then, it stopped. He’d get all the food ready the night before: fried chicken, potato salad, watermelon and cool-aid. We were in charge of getting the blankets and towels.
At 5:00 a.m. we were up. Within an hour, we were scurrying to get out the door. We went to a beach on Staten Island, New York. He took the ferry over. When we’d get to the pier, I was always fearful that our car wouldn’t cross onto the ferry and we’d be floating in the water.
On the deck, we’d watch the ferry speed through the water and pass other ferries on their way back to pick up more cars waiting at the pier. The wind would blow through your hair with that early morning crisp wet mist from the splashing waves. My hair was a ball of fluff by the time we’d get there.
The beach was always deserted when we arrived.
Who gets to a beach at 7:00 a.m.?
It was clothes off and in you go. Anyone,usually me, who was afraid to go in the water was tossed in. It didn’t matter that I couldn’t swim.
“It’s time to learn”, he’d say.
Food always tasted better with sand and salt from your wet lips in every bite. Barely 11:00 a.m. we were fed and dry. Now, it was time to head home.
He seemed to enjoy those beach days. It could have been a memory from his service days. He never went to the beach as a child. He grew up on a farm. He farmed all day. He left at 15 and joined the service to get away from his new 22 year old mother. His Mother had passed away when he was 14 leaving 8 siblings for him and another brother to care for. His life wasn’t easy. He showed the anger, suffering and pain on his face all the time. After he passed away, it took years for me to understand that. I wish I had better memories. Unfortunately, I do remember the summer I spent kneeling on bathroom tile for 3 hours every day as penance for bad behavior. I haven’t gone to that emotional place yet.
Strangely, I don’t resent him. I do love him in a distant kind of way. I feel that many of the things he taught me have been positives in my life. I maintain a very clean household. I can cook masterfully. I enjoy the arts, reading, culture and religion because he expected us to know all of them. I’ve been a disciplined hard worker all of my life both as a mother and as a business woman. He did the best he could with the skills he had.
I thank and bless him for the life he gave me. I hope that he is happy with his Mother in heaven.
Happy Father’s Day Dad …!!!
What is the Best Time you ever had With Your Dad?