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?
June 25, 2013 at 1:19 am
I know that must have been difficult for you. Difficult for you to write about and a difficult and maybe a long journey for you. We have a slightly similar background. Hugs.
June 28, 2013 at 3:13 am
Yes, difficult to write. But it puts things in proper order for me. They also had their ghosts and demons to contend with. We have knowledge to walk us through to new horizons. I am always looking to put my pages in proper order in my book while eliminating the painful pages.
Namaste …. be blessed …
June 18, 2013 at 5:50 pm
I also have very mixed feelings about my childhood and my dad. He was a good man, but very strict too, probably something he learned from his own father who I never got to meet. He was not a happy man most of the time, but I don’t judge him, because there were so many things about his childhood which probably contributed to the way he turned out. I did love him very much, but will always regret that he missed out on so much fun and happiness which we could have all had together. I think that like you, I also pick out the positive things which he taught me. Lovely beach video. 🙂
June 19, 2013 at 4:33 pm
We can start to heal once we accept that they were wounded souls that had no idea on how to cope. I can’t believe that it was done as an enjoyable past time. My Dad had standards that made him think others would accept him if he met them. Odd thinking? Yes … but to him it meant the world. One must always see that our way may not be the right way – it is better to see all ways and accept that ours is only right for us.
Glad you enjoyed the video. It is my favorite spot to be – the beach.
June 17, 2013 at 6:56 am
A lovely tribute to your father Issy. You are such a kind and loving person. 😀
Your father sounds a lot like my grandfather, but my grandfather was in the police force. Guess it’s mostly the same and where that military reign comes from, but my granddad was a kind man. Strict but kind in most ways. My biological sponsor was an alcoholic and my mother made me suffer for that for years, and my stepmother and my stepfather. Why, I don’t know. It’s their problem and they had to live with it. Just like you I’ve forgiven them and I thank them for making me a stronger person who don’t give up. We also don’t celebrate days like these. Just money-making schemes. Real, good, kind and loving fathers should be celebrated every day for who they are, not just once a year.
Thanks for sharing and have a lovely day sweetness. 😀
June 18, 2013 at 5:49 pm
We all have our sorrows and pain. We grow by seeing it and knowing that we’re good and kind humans.
Thanks for the story and the visit, Sophia. It’s always a pleasure to see you here.
June 18, 2013 at 6:08 pm
Oh, I sometimes wish I could feel that way Issy and you’re very welcome hon.
June 16, 2013 at 5:45 pm
Thank you for sharing your story–you are a skilled storyteller. Your childhood sounds very difficult, and it is unusual for someone to rise above such circumstances to be so understanding and forgiving. For the cycle of cruelty and, yes, abuse, to be broken, it takes someone wise and compassionate enough to understand and forgive. Anger eats at a person from the inside, and you have not only done a kindness toward your father by forgiving him; you have given yourself a gift.
So glad to have met you!
June 19, 2013 at 4:29 pm
WOW … smiles all over my face. I appreciate your very complimentary words.
I think we all have something we deal with even if it isn’t our parents. Sometimes, it could be a spouse or a child or a close relative. We do the best we can to accept and get past it. Some leave quicker than others from our memories. I have been a seeker of truth for all of my life and find that the more knowledge I have the better I can look at things.
I rarely get angry. When I do I can get past it quite quickly. It was a way to cope as a child. I thought it would make my abuse happen less often. It didn’t. But it has been a coping skill I’ve held onto that helps me today in life.
Thank you Naomi for stopping by and eading my words.