I’m five years old; I’m laying in bed in Salem, Oregon with a silly-big teddy bear that, in retrospect, must have reeked of little boy and pee. My dad comes in to tuck me in and to give me a hug and kiss goodnight. I have somehow through the dim fuzziness of childhood cognition picked up something subconscious about men and women, something related to women being for affection and softness and men being for friends and rough-and-tumble play, or something. His big beard is to rough, or something. It isn’t a fleshed out thought, but I tell my dad that I don’t want the hug and the kiss; that’s for mom to do. He says “Oh, ok”. He never gives me a hug and kiss goodnight again.
I tried to fight back tears working through this and was unsuccessful, evening having to stop bc my vision was obscured for the last few memories. For better or for worse, fathers have such an enormous impact on shaping their children.
Thanks, RC, for sharing these memories; events from your life that led you to become the amazing man you are today. I shared this blog with a guy friend of mine. He confessed that he wept several times, as the raw honesty of your experiences hit home.
There's so much more I could say, but maybe it's better to keep it simple -- this is an absolutely beautiful tribute to your father, and I'm grateful to have read it.
I'm not generally one to bother submitting a comment on much of anything, but wanted to say thank you for writing such an excellent piece. It was touching, thoughtful, and a joy to read. I have an abysmal memory of my own past, so it's a thrill to read about such beautiful and specific memories from somebody else's. What a lovely tribute to your father, and to fathers everywhere.
This was wonderful. I think I have some letters to write.
Thanks for sharing. These are very personal stories and I appreciate you sharing them. It is too easy to get wrapped up in ones own story to realize that literally everyone around you and people you will never meet have lives just as real as your own.
Thanks for sharing this. I really enjoyed reading those stories about your dad.
My condolences. Thank you for such a wonderful tribute to your dad. I talked to my dad over the phone on Father’s Day 11 years ago not knowing that I would see him a week later as he died from a stroke. Call, write and visit the people you care about while you can.
This is wonderful. Mu mother passed away about 25 years ago and my father about 12. To this day, I have a dream about or the other or both about once per week
This was incredibly beautiful, man. Thank you for writing it, and for sharing it with us.
It's amazing how we can see the influences of our fathers from so long ago. My father passed away in October and many times during every day I think about something and then realize I know where that came from.
Something in my eye... Would it be weird to say it was a pleasure to have known your Dad? You painted the picture extremely well; take comfort in having justifiably and aptly enlarged his place in the world with this.
Thank you for writing this. ;_;
Very touching and candid. Thank you.
My mom died last year.
My dad is alive, but I can't talk to him much. He hit me when I was kid , ruined my mom's life. The most I wanted at 25 is to give him these hits back. I hated him with a passion. Luckily for both of us few thousand miles separated us.
At 33 i stopped the hate.
I came back and met him. First time in 25 years. He was blind and old. Living in a shithole. Still mostly same though. Not an inch wiser
I had a few talks with him. Rather he told me stories . Turns out he is a naturally gifted storyteller. I learned a lot about his family side and some about his life. Glad I listened .
Bur now all the stories are told. And
he is more likely than not to turn any conversation into negative, toxic bitter criticism. I can't stand his disrespect and I have to restrain myself from hurting old blind man, so i just walk out.
I know this and next year probably last chance I will have to talk to him. I just don't feel the need or desire.Feels it's just pointless to visit him