PG 13 content
In the spirit of Lizzi’s Ten Things of Thankful, here are ten special things about my father. Those of you who know me must wonder how I can find ten good things about that man. I grew up hating my father and once tried to kill him (long story there). He was a sadistic alcoholic who sexually, physically, and emotionally abused me until I left home for good. My father vowed to destroy me and accomplished that early on. When he died at age 52, I was living as far away from him as I could get. I smiled at the news and thought I was free. What a joke. OK, the good part is coming.
The One who became my true father is responsible for this post. It turned out that God is not at all like my biological father, which was a major shock. Now I can share 10 things I appreciate about this special man. Most of these are tainted by savage experiences, but the nuggets of good are still in there.
- He was brilliant, especially with chemistry, electronics, and math. He designed systems to keep chemical pollution out of a local water supply. My father built our TV, a boat, model airplanes and ships, and equipment for spying on us and our neighbors.
- His photographic memory always amazed me and inspired me to practice looking at pages of text and recording them in my mind.
- We each had an indomitable will. Even when I could not say a word, he read the fiery anger in my eyes. I fought him every day and night, in every way that I could. My determination and stubbornness have been quite helpful when turned to more positive endeavors.
- My father always wanted me to be a teacher, despite his own terrible experiences with the one he threatened to throw through a window. He was thrilled that I became a teacher and paid me $50 a month to write to him about my teaching experiences.
- I could tell that he loved his brothers, although none of them escaped their household unscathed.
- My love of exercise probably came from early years of trying to please this man, but it’s a passion which has been really good for me.
- My father enjoyed televised sports and I learned a lot about football from being forced to sit next to him during games. No, he did not tell me anything about the game, but the commentators were helpful. And now I enjoy sports with much friendlier folks.
- I learned to clean and clean and clean from my father. Yes, it was actually torture, being forced as a young child to clean all night long, but as my dearest widower commented the other day, “It’s great that you do the deep cleaning around here! Someone has to!” True enough. And I enjoy it.
- Despite making every “family” photo a nightmare experience, my father seriously loved photography. He apparently loved nature and especially sunsets and sunrises. No surprise that I often requested a camera for Christmas. And now I want to be like Cee!
- Before he died during open heart surgery, my father knew he would not make it. He never apologized for anything, but sent me a letter describing how he was putting things in order (which I received after he had died). I immediately trashed that letter, but have since realized that he had time to turn away from his evil deeds and reach out to the Father he never had, either.
I look forward to an eternity with this special man, seeing him as he was intended to be and both loving him and being loved, as I always wanted.