Monday, June 17, 2013

My Father's Word

When I was 19 after my first year of univeristy at the College of Engineering at the University of Denver, both the college and university he picked and made me pay a third of the tuition and all my books which was why I worked fulltime while going to college, the College informed me I was on academic suspension for low grades.

Like that was new or news because I didn't like some course and wasn't good at others, my dad read the letter, handed it back to me and said, "Son, I want you to have a life, just don't have it here." He gave me three months to move out and be gone from the family.

I didn't know at the time, it was history repeated as it was what his dad did and said to him when he was 20. It was 1940, and it doesn't take much to realize what his choices were. He enlisted and spent the next 23 years in the Army and Air Force.

For me it was 1968 and it doesn't take a genius to realize what my choices were when the Army sent me my letter to take a physical and then a letter informing me I as 1-A and would be drafted. I enlisted in the Air Force but left 4 years later.

My dad and I rarely spoke after that, about once or twice a year and rarely met, only every few years for family gatherings and reunions. Later in life he told me I was planned for in their (Mom and Dad) life since they had the two children they wanted.

He told me they chose to simply let me grow up by myself with little attention from them. In all the years I knew him and we spoke he never said, "I love you.", even the year before he died when he stayed overnight at my place with uncle Jim.

All he said was thanks for the stay. I don't know to this day why I went to his funeral because it didn't do anything or provide any closure but only kept a deep wound open which has never healed. He fought his own demons until he couldn't and then died.

Sorry if I don't say, "Happy Father's Day Dad", because I won't get an response.

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