Someone asked me the awhile back if I thought you were a good dad. I told them to define “good”. If the person meant did you provide for us (Eight kids), then yes you were a good dad. I don’t ever remember going without food or never having any clothes to wear.
We rarely went anywhere because you just didn’t want to go or you didn’t feel well. I remember the one and only trip we took to the State Fair. The whole time we were traveling, you were yelling at Mom constantly! If something had gone wrong, it was Mom’s fault. Why did you always blame her? On this particular trip, did you happen to bring a tent for us to sleep in? No! we had to sleep in the back of the truck or on the seats in the vehicles. Were we allowed to buy food at the stands inside the fairgrounds? NO way! We had to drag along our own food. I was never so happy to get back home.
The one thing that has stayed with me in all these years is that you were never happy. EVERYTHING ticked you off. If we looked at you wrong or breathed wrong, we knew that we were going to get it. If you came home crabby because you had a bad day at work, us four older ones knew that you were going to take your anger out on us. I have never understood why almost every single night, we were spanked. We never did anything wrong. We were good kids. None of us smoked, did drugs or drank. I, for one, was too scared to. I didn’t want to be killed by YOUR anger. My friends used to ask me why I didn’t go out on weekends. My answer was because I was too afraid of my dad. I used to get teased because I didn’t know a whole lot. My reply to the teasing was because I lived under a rock for too many years.
One thing you did teach your children was good work ethics. During the summers, I was grateful you were gone most of the time. I hated weekends. You worked us from dawn to dusk and then some more.
I get jealous of anyone who says they had a great dad. I’m happy for them but I’m still jealous.
Dad, why couldn’t you be proud of your children?
Rest in peace, Dad.
May your day be filled with warmth from the sun!
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