Warning: This is not a Happy Father’s Day post. This is about reality. This is about the fact that many people have children, but are poor parents. This is the story of one of them. Read on at your peril.
Several months ago, I invited my father to my home. It was the third time my father had ever seen his only grandchild. He didn’t even remember my son’s name.
My child was so hurt by the fact he couldn’t even get a hug from my dad.
My father left me and my mom when I was 8. Looking back, my mother and I both agree that this was the single best thing that happened to both of us (in regards to my dad).
I used to get a call about once every two months from my dad. Usually he needed technical support on his computer, then he talks about his guns for 30 minutes and has to go as soon as I try to tell him how great my job is, or how well his daughter-in-law is doing in school, or what awesome thing his only grandchild has done recently.
I’ve seen my father three times since his mother died. She lived a few blocks from me. So he would come see her every weekend. He’s made the trip to see me 3 times since then. In fairness, I haven’t made the trip to see him either. I actually have a job, and a child. Is that a good excuse, probably not, but I don’t really care anymore.
He used to send he stupid-ass chain e-mails that fit with his preconceived political ideas. They pissed me off, so I started correcting them. When that didn’t help, I started correcting them and then sent them to everyone he e-mailed them to.
One of his friends said to my father, “Shame you can’t get a retroactive abortion.” My father didn’t say jack.
I haven’t spoken with him since.
Fuck you Pat. Just fuck off and stay there. My family is just great without you. My ENTIRE life was just great without you being there.
Fortunately, I had someone in my life to replace your lame ass. Guy Ray Crist, my maternal grandfather was, without a doubt, the most amazing person I have ever known. There wasn’t anything he couldn’t do and he wanted me to learn. My grandfather took a college algebra class at the local community college so he could help me in my HS algebra class.
My only regret in life is that my grandfather died four years before his great-grandson was born.
I wish that I was more like my grandfather. It is very difficult with the crappy genes I got from my father. Yes, if you really study and think and examine yourself, you can see a lot of your parents’ behaviors in yourself, even then ones you loathe. It is genetics, because, sure as hell, my dad didn’t teach me anything.
I’m going to go upstairs now and kiss my sleeping child and tell him that I try to be the best dad I can, like I do every night. I fail often, but at least I will be there. I will try.
And, no, I will not call my father tomorrow. I will not accept a call from him tomorrow.
Tomorrow is a day for dads, for parents, for teachers and supporters… not for people like him.
Happy Father’s Day to those that deserve it.