Father’s Day should be a happy occasion for everybody. Unfortunately, we live in a broken world where people’s behaviours cause tremendous emotional pain. So it was with my parents. Dad drank and Mom nagged, making both parents worse.
Having said that, I remember how Dad did try to be a father on occasions. He used to tell me bedtime stories when he wasn’t at the bar. He also explained things like the universe being endless and how the sun wasn’t on a stand but was by itself in the sky.
Dad took us places as well. We once visited a cheese factory in the town of Bruderheim. Our family went to a picnic area by the Sturgeon river. Dad and I often chatted on these trips. I suspect that it made Mom jealous because she only spoke when she rep remanded us for getting to rambunctious.
It was Dad who tried to teach me how to skate. No matter how I tried, my ankles wouldn’t stay straight and I couldn’t stand on the skates. I did learn how to skate a few years later but by then I was far away at the school for the blind.
My sister and I once played hide and seek with Dad. He was usually with his friends at the bar but he did come home at times to do his duty as a father.
Dad also made a toy for me out of an empty spool of thread, a tooth pick, an elastic, and a piece of a candle. When wound up, this thing would lurch and crawl its way across the kitchen table. The fascinating thing was that it was unpredictable. The thing would stop for no apparent reason and raise its tooth pick, then lower it as it proceeded.
Additionally, Dad took me often to the swimming pool each summer. Though he used the life guard as a cheap baby sitter while he had a few drinks at the bar, I enjoyed those evenings of fun and great rock music blasting over the pool’s public address system.
Though Dad’s drinking and threats to kill us all drove a wedge between him and myself, I forgave him when I was an adult. While staying at his common-law wife’s house in December of 1984, Dad told me that he regretted missing seeing me grow up. He apologized for being away from home and asked if I’d forgive him. That was one of the happiest moments I had with my dad.
Dad had a stroke in 1983 and was in nursing homes until he passed away four years later. Though I wish I had visited him more often, I feel happy knowing that he gave his life to Christ and is waiting for me in heaven.
In all three of my memoirs, I mentioned the family tensions I experienced. The first two books are available through the Bruce Atchison’s books link. How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity is for sale at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Virtual Bookworm Publishers.