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Sun Jun 16, 2013, 12:30 PM

A Room With A View. A Tale For Father's Day.

My father and I weren't super close. He had terrible health starting at 36 (and a string of heart attacks) and he really took the "Boy Named Sue Route" in some aspects. I was 10 and they gave him only a couple of years to live. So, my dad made me stand up like a man. No crying. No running for help. Just deal with the damned problem as best you can and stand up and take the consequences of the choices you made.

Hard stuff for 10. But 36 is awfully young to be planning your death. Hard stuff for 36.

But despite laying on deathbed after deathbed, after being given last rights more than once, the guy just hung on. Heart attack after heart attack, one on a riverbank where his best buddy did CPR for half an hour before life flight zapped him on the helicopter. His heart started back up but when we got to the hospital the dr. said, "He won't wake up, and you wouldn't want him to. He'd most likely be a vegetable." Hard words for my mom to hear, he was just 45.

A few hours later he woke up and said, "Where am I? I was fishing." I looked at the Dr. when he said it. He was standing there with a look of shock on his face and his mouth hanging open. This was a dead man talking.

A few months before I graduated from college I was in a terrible car accident. T-boned in a little Toyota by a kid seeing how fast his new Dodge Charger would go. (at least to 85...that's what he was going when he hit me). The cop at the scene said I should have died. I didn't. But, it was decided as soon as I was out of the woods I'd be moving home. I was heartbroken. It was terrible. I was so close to graduating with a double major.

It was something my dad understood. He broke both knees in a college football game and had had to move home from college as well. He knew how hard it was going to be.

And I was freaking out. Saying goodbye to my health, my friends, my cool college apartment. And I was moving home to our teeny tiny 1920s farmhouse where my room was smaller than my dorm room had been. Horrible.

And when I got home, and I limped my way sadly back to my tiny dark high school bedroom, I couldn't help but start to cry. No 22 year old wants to go back to high school. And I opened the room to my tiny bedroom and, well, it wasn't there.

My father, despite his crappy health, was a builder, and he had built an addition on the back of our tiny house. There was a giant closet for all of my boxes from college, a big giant window right at the level of the bed so I could see outside, a wall of shelves to put my stuff on, a desk to sit at. No more dark little room, it was bright and sunny and big and wonderful.

He wouldn't talk about it. Barely accepted my tearful thank you. Walked off to the barn to get away from all those human emotions. But a man with a sick heart and a bad body built me something I could never ever forget. He built me a place to heal. He built my frail emotional state a place that wasn't stepping back. He saved me.

He was gone soon after. And when my mom sold the house I wept over that addition. It wasn't something I could pack up and take with me though so I said my goodbyes to the biggest kindness I've ever been given.

Happy Father's Day Dad, and thank you for not naming me "Sue".

Share some thoughts of your father with us. It's a good day for that.

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Reply A Room With A View. A Tale For Father's Day. (Original post)
DonRedwood Jun 2013 OP
DonRedwood Jun 2013 #1
DonRedwood Jun 2013 #2
DonRedwood Jun 2013 #3
Voice for Peace Jun 2013 #4
csziggy Jun 2013 #5
xtraxritical Jun 2013 #6
onethatcares Jun 2013 #7
Johnny Noshoes Jun 2013 #8
Playinghardball Jun 2013 #9

Response to DonRedwood (Original post)

Sun Jun 16, 2013, 12:39 PM

1. Edited to fix some extra terrible grammar.

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Response to DonRedwood (Original post)

Sun Jun 16, 2013, 12:53 PM

3. The picture isn't loading right so I'm taking it off.

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Response to DonRedwood (Original post)

Sun Jun 16, 2013, 01:02 PM

4. very moving, thank you

 

I can't think of anything to share about my father.
He was a sad and lonely man, a ghost.

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Response to DonRedwood (Original post)

Sun Jun 16, 2013, 01:08 PM

5. What a wonderful father! Thank you for sharing your memories.

My father isn't the most wonderful person in the world. Hard headed, opinionated, really bad temper. But he is always there when we need him. He respects each of us for who we are and was not disturbed that we each took a different path in life.

He raised four daughters without expecting any of us to fit into the stereotypes for women in the 50s or 60s. He had great examples - his mother and his aunt had college degrees - unusual for women born in the 1880s. Both women worked as professionals, his mother in between marriages and his aunt all her life. He made sure we all got our college degrees, also, and made provisions for all his grandchildren to go to college.

My earliest memories of Dad are of him reading to us at bedtime - Rudyard Kipling's Just So Stories. Every week he took us all to the library and we all grew up readers - I think that is my most valued gift from him.

Dad is still with us - he turned 90 in March.

Happy Father's Day, Dad!

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Response to DonRedwood (Original post)

Sun Jun 16, 2013, 01:31 PM

6. Thanks for your everything Dad. I love you.

 

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Response to DonRedwood (Original post)

Sun Jun 16, 2013, 02:04 PM

7. I wish I would have known my dad

but he was too busy to know me.

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Response to DonRedwood (Original post)

Sun Jun 16, 2013, 02:07 PM

8. A quiet little man....

It was the summer of 2001 and my dad was staying with my sister and her husband for a few weeks. Mom had died the year before - they were married for 50 years. I spent some time with them - Dad, sis, brother-in-law later that summer. My dad was the kind of guy if you said it was black he'd say it was white. Not agressively but still he could be contrary. We were out one day and decided to get some ice cream. Now dad was diabetic and shouldn't really be eating it but being the stubborn old Sicilian he was you couldn't talk him out of it. So my sister just said well dad go ahead we know where the hospital is - nothin bad obviously happened but it must have done a number on his blood sugar levels. One other time my sister came home early from work and dad said "Gee they let you out early." My sister was the branch manager of a small local bank "the boss". She said "I'm the boss I can leave early." I don't think he could believe that a WOMAN would be the boss. I swear he never read directions on how to do something and used it as an excuse to get out of doing things he didn't want to do - I can still hear my mom - " Jesus Christ Frank get out of the way and let me do it!" The old man was just old school - sometimes a pain in the ass but he was dad a quiet little man with a good heart and I miss him.

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Response to DonRedwood (Original post)

Sun Jun 16, 2013, 02:11 PM

9. Awesome story....

 

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