Dancing With My Father

Growing up, I never really thought much about what memories I would have of my family, my friends or my childhood so I did not do things that would make me look upon them proudly.  Now that I am quickly heading toward the double nickel year old mark, I find myself reflecting about my choices and yes, there are some regrets.

One of my major regrets is missing out on letting my father know how much he was loved.  Those who know often tell me that I should not worry about that because my father never really gave anyone a chance to love him.  He was seldom ever nice enough to gain the admiration of many and I often think it was because he did not know how to love.  Because he did not know how to love, he never had to worry about failing at it especially if he made sure that no one loved him.  You see, if you are not love then you never have to return that love.  Too bad that my father did not learn, until it was much too late, that love has a way of surviving no matter how much or how often we try to kill it.  So all ten of us were always in love with him as the man who helped to create us but there were plenty of times we didn't like him much.

I remember the two most important lessons that he taught me.  The first was how to work hard and earn what you get.  He never took anything without first making sure that he could pay it back and I used to listen to his bosses speak about him when they thought or didn't know I was listening.  They would say how hard he works and how there is not any kind of machine that you couldn't put in front of him, give him a few minutes and he could not figure out.  That made me smile and make the decision that this was the type of person I wanted to be.  I worked very hard to become that man and I have to think that I achieved that goal, so thanks dad for that dance.

The second lesson he taught me was different than this one.  It was what type of man I did not want to be.  My dad stayed angry and often times no one could ever tell you why.  I think it was losing his mother at the age of three and not really getting to know her or her knowing him.  Maybe he blamed her death on my grandfather or even himself, no one knows and no one will ever know because he would never talk about it and especially now because he passed away so very long ago.  I promised myself not to be so angry all the time and would go out of my way to make others laugh and smile just to show myself that I was not him. 

I think I did not succeed so well at lesson two because thinking back I was an angry man for quite some time.  Regardless of the excuse I used to be angry, I actually found it beneficial in some regards.  It kept some at a distance and safeguarded my sensitive nature so that I could avoid being hurt. I've learned the hard way that no matter how much you think you are protected, hurt has a way of sneaking up on you even when you are looking.  As I look upon my past today, I understanding and accept that maybe lesson two  was one that although I tried to avoid, I dancing with my father on too.


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