Loss of Father – Birthday Remembrance:
Over twenty years have passed since my husband lost his father to a massive heart attack. I never met him. He grew up in Oklahoma, served a few years as a Marine – honorably discharged - and was a carpenter by trade. After he married, he moved with his wife to California, where my husband was born. He was an alcoholic, although quit drinking in his later years. He was temperamental and a stern disciplinarian, although never struck my husband. Can’t say that for hubby’s older brother, who fought their father, several times. He gardened, raised rabbits and chickens, and seemed to like dogs.
When I asked my husband what he most remembered about his father, he stated, “He was loving…and mean.”
Notice “loving” came first in that statement. I know there are more fond memories of his father than bad memories, for his father’s death brought great grief to my husband.
When asked what he felt was the one most important thing learned from his father, he told me, “Being responsible for your family.”
My husband is responsible for our family, caring for us as a good spouse, father and grandfather should. His father would be proud.
Also, his father would be proud knowing his January birthday is remembered. Sometimes on that day, a candle is lit in his memory, and sometimes not; all depends on if my husband reminds me of the date. This year, he reminded me, so a candle burned throughout the day and most of the night.
I share with you an interesting passage from EREMA; OR, MY FATHER’S SIN by R. D. Blackmore, published in 1877. Excerpt from “CHAPTER I – A LOST LANDMARK “:
“If I had not known my father, if I had not loved him, if I had not closed his eyes in desert silence deeper than the silence of the grave, even if I could have buried and bewailed him duly, the common business of this world and the universal carelessness might have led me down the general track that leads to nothing.”
When I’m reminded about the man who fathered my husband, I thank him for guiding his son on the right track in life, for his son is a kind, loving and decent man. I like to think he hears me…and that he continues to guide his son.