It seems to me that children suffer the most when parents quarrel. As the arguments rage or violence erupts, kids are helpless to prevent the fights. That’s what my siblings and I faced on a regular basis as we grew up.
Once I became a man, I began to understand my parents as two flawed individuals. I also realized that Mom could no longer keep me away from my dad. As I visited him and his common law wife, Shirley, I pieced together a port rate of the man Dad really was.
During Christmas of 1983, Dad asked for my forgiveness for being away from home so much. I gladly forgave him, understanding that my parents were mere flawed human beings. I could see how Mom’s nagging about Dad’s drinking and smoking drove him away. I also understood that Dad’s behaviour caused Mom to nag all the more.
I was at Dad’s place on January 7, 1985, his 60th birthday. This was a milestone since none of his brothers lived that long. I felt glad to witness this celebration, having missed so much of his life as a child. Dad also realized that he missed seeing us grow up. Both of us made up for lost time as we had long conversations at Shirley’s home.
If Dad was alive today, he would be eighty-five years old. Since he gave his life to Christ before passing away at a nursing home back in 1987, I look forward to meeting him again when I die or Jesus returns.
I wrote about my parents and the uneasy atmosphere of our home in Deliverance from Jericho: Six Years in a Blind school. Though I often feared for my life during their fights, I wanted to stay at home instead of that soul-destroying school for the blind. Please visit the Bruce Atchison’s books link for details.