Three years ago, my father died at 91 years old. I had the opportunity to be with him for a while about 4 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 7 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.
Obviously, 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 overtime that was available, he worked weekends to get the double pay. We didn’t have expensive family holidays, 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, smart, protected children.
I wonder what cycle your father broke.
If you feel to, you are welcome to share here.