Four 𝐲𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐬 𝐚𝐠𝐨, 𝐦𝐲 𝐟𝐚𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫 𝐝𝐢𝐞𝐝 𝐚𝐭 𝟗𝟏 𝐲𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐬 𝐨𝐥𝐝. I had the opportunity to be with him for a while, about four weeks before he passed.
As he laid in his bed, getting weaker and weaker and having a dose of Alzheimer’s, he reminisced about a scene frequently. In it, he remembered his stepfather coming home and putting a penny on the table in front of him and crying. He couldn’t feed his family.
My dad was probably about seven years old, which would have made it around 1932, a few years after the great depression. As he remembered the scene in 2017, it moved him to tears.
That had been a pivotal moment for him, and as an adult and a therapist, I could see how it had informed his life.
My dad was a welder. He worked every day until he retired. He worked all the available overtime; he worked weekends to get double pay. We didn’t have expensive family holidays, and we lived in a council house; our life was simple. But there was ALWAYS enough food and money to pay the rent and bills.
For much of my youth, I had focused on his shortcomings, on the lack of connection. As we prepared to say goodbye, I was able to see his achievements much more clearly. 𝐇𝐞 𝐡𝐚𝐝 𝐛𝐫𝐨𝐤𝐞𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐜𝐲𝐜𝐥𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐞𝐱𝐭𝐫𝐞𝐦𝐞 𝐩𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐭𝐲 𝐢𝐧 𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐟𝐚𝐦𝐢𝐥𝐲 𝐥𝐢𝐧𝐞. He had raised four caring, intelligent, protected children.
𝐈 𝐰𝐨𝐧𝐝𝐞𝐫 𝐰𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐜𝐲𝐜𝐥𝐞 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐟𝐚𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫 𝐛𝐫𝐨𝐤𝐞.
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