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Passions in Poetry

Fathers

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Local Parasite
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since 11-05-2001
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Transylconia, Winnipeg


0 posted 12-06-2002 02:29 AM       View Profile for Local Parasite   Email Local Parasite   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Local Parasite's Home Page   View IP for Local Parasite

You know, I have no memories of being really close to my father.  He's not the kind of person I would have asked for as a father... I've always seen him as the overly-white, overly-heterosexual alcoholic male who drinks himself to sleep every weeknight.  Growing up I have always felt distant from him, and never really regretted it.  It just seemed normal to me, because he was such a different person from me.

Last night he got a phone call from his brother-in-law, my uncle Ed.  Ed and Dorothy are my aunt and uncle who live in Texas... they're extremely wealthy, in fact, they recently purchased an island near Vancouver.  I have never really met Dorothy enough to get to know her.  

Anyways, Ed was calling to inform my dad about Dorothy's health condition... apparently she'd just had a heart attack, and was in the hospital... shortly after her heart attack, her lungs collapsed (she's a very heavy smoker with lots of health complications due to it)... Ed knew nothing of her condition at the time of his call, only that he hadn't been let in for the last six hours to see her.

Last night I saw my father so much differently.  When he was 11 or 12, his father died in a car crash.  His family is very large, he has 11 brothers and sisters, all of whom have been alive for a very long time.  Their ages are, naturally, very diverse, and his oldest brother Harry (who is 20 years older than him) acted pretty much like his father.  He's the youngest in his family.  My father hadn't experienced any deaths in his family since his dad died when he was a child... so Dorothy, his eldest sister, is starting to open his eyes.

Last night and tonight, I've spent so much more time with my father, talking to him, getting to know him.  It's strange, it's like all of the years of my childhood biting me in the back end... all of this time I had dismissed him completely, and now, I'm seeing that he's such a deep person, so complex and ponderous that it's shocking.  One of the things he said to me, I don't remember the exact words, but was something like "Dorothy is my oldest sister... I guess it has to start sometime."

The way he must see me... it's this situation that made me realize how important family is to him.  I want to get to know this man now, I want to become his son.  I want to let him be my father, I want him to give me the chance that he never had growing up.  His father never got to come to his son's graduation or wedding, see any of his son's children...

Over the last couple of days it has been becoming really clear to me, that it's important to him.  I think I'm going to start being a son to him.

The reason I'm posting this message in feelings is because I want to know what the rest of you think of your fathers... it's a topic that I've completely undermined my whole life, and a community of poets like Passions in Poetry seems like the best place to learn about this.  So say anything you'd like about your father, your relationship with him.  I'm sure we could all learn something from talking on this subject.

Thank you all for reading this...

Brian



[This message has been edited by Local Parasite (12-06-2002 02:42 AM).]

Skyfire
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1 posted 12-06-2002 03:44 AM       View Profile for Skyfire   Email Skyfire   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Skyfire


*sigh* My dad is the stereotypical German. Picky, stubborn, and perfectionist. I think he's always tried to be a good dad to me; I think I just haven't let him be my dad.  I've grown closer to him in the past three months than I had in the past 19 years.  My dad is... well he's my dad.  Everything has to be perfect, and if he gets an idea in his head, he won't ever stop until it comes to fruitation.  He's immensly logical and practical, and way protective of me.
It's the things that used to drive me nuts about him that I miss the most. His constant teasing, his nattering at me, his asking me to help him with things.  
He has this particular smell... I love it.  When he's at hockey or whatnot I wear his shirt just so I can smell my daddy.
He's a man who doesn't like to show his emotions. He's very closed and standoffish... I suppose that's where I've picked that trait up from. I know he has emotions though... When he cries it breaks my heart.
He's immensly proud of me, although he's too closed off to say it often.  When I'm home he's always asking about how my life is going. I think he's gotten to know me better. My daddy is the most important man in the world to me, and I hate being away from him, although ask me at the end of next summer and I'll say I can't wait to go back to school lol.  
I never realised how much I'd miss him. He's always done his best to give me whatever my spoiled little head thought I wanted. He's never held back on disciplining me, but he only disciplined me when I needed it.
He's always been my daddy and he always will be. He'll always be my true knight in shining armour.

[This message has been edited by Skyfire (12-06-2002 03:46 AM).]

LoveBug
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2 posted 12-06-2002 07:34 AM       View Profile for LoveBug   Email LoveBug   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for LoveBug

My father... YOU'VE heard my father before, Brian! Remember? LOL

My father is also one of 11. He's number 7, a holy number, and in fact, he is the one who picked up his father's preaching tradition. I always remember being scared of him. He has a really bad temper. He's away at work a lot, so it was always like "If you're mean, I"ll tell Daddy when he gets home" and we'd shut up. As a teenager, he was always the one to avoid. I never go to my parents with my problems or anything, but if I was ever to show any kind of emotion, it was only when Dad was away.

As most things have, that has slightly changed in the past few months.

I saw him cry.

The day my uncle died... it was the worst day of our lives, and I doubt that will change. Yeah, he was my uncle on my mom's side, but dad had known him for almost as long. He was a 'tent boy': one of the young men who traveled with my uncle on his tent revivals and helped out with music and such. My dad was the one who told me he had died, and after he told me, he broke down. I ran upstairs to my room, not knowing what to do, not knowing how to comfort him.

Here lately, we've been sharing some long car rides together, to university auditions and church services and such. They began in silence, just a snide word about the music every once in awhile, but now we've begun talking. Something he said in his thick drawl to me in one conversation contenues to be a phrase I repeat: It'll surprise you, how much you can take.

And during those rides, I'll catch a glimpse of my father. He's driving too fast and not really caring. He's either loving or loathing the music that's playing, but either way, wishing that he was creating his own right now. Sometimes he'll tell me a story about the teenage escapades of the now established and 'holy' men in the church, and we both laugh the same laugh. And then I discovered one thing.

I am my father's daughter.

Thanks for starting this, Brian. I hope your relationship with your father grows as well.

Most of us go to our grave with our music still inside of us.

[This message has been edited by LoveBug (12-06-2002 07:35 AM).]

Christopher
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3 posted 12-06-2002 07:55 AM       View Profile for Christopher   Email Christopher   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Christopher

I got really lucky. My dad and I have always been pretty good friends. We've never had any large fights or big blowouts. Our disagreements are almost always minor and resolved in moments. We go watch movies together, shop together (though i HATE the way he shops, lol) for holiday dinners, play golf together (and i beat him... heh, he hates it!), read the same books, beat up on my niece and nephews together... etc. I have a good relationship with my dad though it's not a "deep" relationship - and that's fine. About the only issue i ever have with my dad is if i spend too much time around him - he starts irritating me with his mannersisms and what not. I've learned to recognize this, however, as my own need for space more than a 'failing' on his side... my dad's a really in-your-space kinda guy and can never understand why that bothers me.

Glad to hear that you've discovered your dad. That's an opportunity you can't waste.
Janet Marie
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4 posted 12-06-2002 08:50 AM       View Profile for Janet Marie   Email Janet Marie   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Janet Marie

Brian....I wanted to try and answer your question but your post got to me...(its one of those mothy kind of mornings)
so for right now I just wanna hug you  
serenity blaze
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5 posted 12-06-2002 09:57 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

I'm with Jan...

And yes, get to know this man who is your father. Listen to his stories. You won't regret it. You will discover part of yourself.

and? that's all.

I still have trouble talking about my Dad sometimes. Just know that I miss him terribly.
Kielo
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since 02-11-2002
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6 posted 12-06-2002 02:05 PM       View Profile for Kielo   Email Kielo   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Kielo

Hmm. My dad and I have had an interesting relationship to say the least. We both are "ADHD," and so we have communication problems... We both get angry easily, we both assume things, and don't explain ourselves well, and so we have huge fights. My dad and I both tend to say things that we regret later, and when we fight, its big. One of the things my dad said to me though, that I'll never forget, is this: "You can fight all you want, but I'm your dad, and I'll always win." I've been afraid of him ever since. My dad is also not in any way small... *sigh* He works out daily, and, to be honest, the effort I've been making to not fight with him as much is probably more from fear than a wish to be closer to him. (He has never hit me, but he came close once. I don't think he would, but the possibility worries me. Don't worry, if anything happens, I can take care of myself.)

Don't get me wrong, I love him very much, and we have a lot of fun together sometimes. Other times, not so much. He makes decisions sometimes before he lets me explain the whole situation, and when I try to continue explaining, so that I can go wherever, or do whatever innocent thing, he flips out, because I have "attitude," or because "I said no! That's it!" urg. Its frustrating. Especially the attitude thing. Anything I do has attitude. Sometimes it just seems like I can't do anything right. Some days, he'll tell me how great I am, what a great kid I am, but it gets harder and harder to believe him, because the next day, he tells me I'm lazy, I'll never amount to anything, and a few things I won't repeat. Nothing too horrible.

I know some of it is my fault, and I know that I love my dad, and I would miss him terribly if he left, or something happened to him. However, sometimes I wish he was around a little less, or that I knew him as a friend's parent, or just some guy.

Of course, that's only half the relationship. Other times I admire my dad, because he's a very smart man, he's fun and we have a similar sense of humour.

One strange thing I did notice, though, is that when I turned 13, or about that time, my relationship with my dad changed. Before that, I only enjoyed his company, and we got along fine. After, suddenly our relationship went downhill, he started complaining about my attitude, and was just generally harder to be with. The odd part is that the same thing happened to my younger sister. About the time she turned 13, she and my dad started to have major fights, he started complaining that he didn't like her attitude - or stating it rather, angrily - and becoming harder for her to be with. I don't know if we both became difficult when we grew older, or if dad just thinks that when we become teenagers we become horrible people. Anyway, its something I'll be watching for when my littlest sister gets there.

argh... I just want to know he loves me... *sigh* I know he does... its just hard to believe it sometimes.

Hugs to you Brian, and congratulations, I hope all goes well with you and your dad.

Kielo
Miah
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since 08-26-2002
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Pennsylvania


7 posted 12-07-2002 12:05 AM       View Profile for Miah   Email Miah   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Miah

It's never to late to get to know your parents.  Sometimes we grow up not knowing "who" exactly are parents are.  Or we have an idea of who they are and then find out they are another.

I think sometimes our own parents have a hard time relateing to us as we do them, after all they are people just like us.

I love my Mom and my Dad.  I have a close relationship with both my parents, more my mom then my dad.  Don't get me wrong, I love my dad and I am as close as I can be, but sometimes I realize I don't know that much about him.  My Mom will tell me stories about when she was a kid or as she was growing up.  My Dad, very little, sometimes he will mention his parents and what he and his dad did.  His mom died when he was 16 of cancer and was not living with him and his father.  His dad died of unatural causes right after my mom and him got married.

He has two sisters, one died a few years back, (the same way their dad died) and his other sister lives far away and he does not keep in touch with her.

Needless to say he has no other family but on my mom's side.  He is very close with my Grandma.

I am very proud of my father, he grew up poor, in a broken home, but made our home a loveing stable place to be.  I had everything I needed, a roof over my head, clothes on my back, food on the table and love to last a lifetime.  

I thank God every day for blessing me with my parents.

I hope you get to know your father more and more each day.
Poet deVine
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8 posted 12-07-2002 12:27 AM       View Profile for Poet deVine   Email Poet deVine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Poet deVine

Brian, you are very lucky. You've been given a chance to find a piece of your history. Embrace it.


My father died the day before my 13th birthday. There was no time to realize how much I would have loved knowing him.
Opeth
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9 posted 12-07-2002 11:33 AM       View Profile for Opeth   Email Opeth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Opeth

I love my father. The day he dies, it will most likely change my life forever.
serenity blaze
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since 02-02-2000
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10 posted 12-07-2002 12:38 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Opeth? It does.

Go spend some time NOW.

In fact? I'm going to spend the night at my mom's. Love each other while you can.

Hugs all.
Opeth
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11 posted 12-07-2002 01:00 PM       View Profile for Opeth   Email Opeth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Opeth

That is a most difficult thing to do because he lives in Pennsylvania and I am in the navy, stationed in Fla.

However, I do spend time with him whenever I can, and we do talk much on the phone.
Mysteria
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since 03-07-2001
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12 posted 12-08-2002 02:27 AM       View Profile for Mysteria   Email Mysteria   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Mysteria

Brian I had to wait until I could write this as this thread was a tad overwhelming for me.  I have not spoken to my father for years, and most people would say there is not a good enough reason for that, but there is.  I even forgave him, and even called and wrote him, but he can't accept his own guilt I guess and I have had to accept that.  He has disassociated himself and doesn't even know he is a great-grandfather now.  I grieve almost every day for the relationship I never had, if that makes sense to you, and that went for my Mother too.  In otherwords, what I had was horrible and my fantasy of having a good parent/child relationship is what I miss.  If you have a chance to get to know this man of whom you are part of, go for it, and accept him for whatever he is.  When you get older you truly do better just like the saying goes, and his opening up in front of you could be like his extending his hand to you, and I am excited you grabbed it.  You say he is deep, well who else is deep that you know? Oh brother, here is one for you, "the apple doesn't fall very far from the tree", if you get my drift.  I bet you will find you have more in common than not, and the main thing is to go at this knowing you can never change anyone, the hard part is accepting them for who they are.  Good luck to you Brian.
nakdthoughts
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since 10-29-2000
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Between the Lines


13 posted 12-08-2002 04:27 PM       View Profile for nakdthoughts   Email nakdthoughts   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for nakdthoughts

First of all you have to remember that growing up your father is your father, and probably the disciplinarian. He is the one normally who gets that job, and it's probably one men don't really want. They are there providing for the family along with Mom if she is out working too. But Parents are meant to be just that.

They are not your friend when you are living home. When you become more independent and have to start taking care of yourself, then of a family of your own, you begin to appreciate them and realize they are only human and can't be everything to everyone.  

Anyway, my parents became my friends probably in my 30's. Until then I was learning to become a self-sufficient woman and good wife and hung around only with those in my peer group. And only asked advice of them when needed.

But your father did not have a  father to grow up with and had so much sibling competition so he probably didn't have any example set before him.
I think your decision to become more of a son, proves he didn't do such a bad job at  fatherhood and I think you are on the right track.
hugssssss to you....I am feeling good about your decision.
M
At least you aren't waiting until it's too late...and your father is gone.
RSWells
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since 06-17-2001
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14 posted 12-09-2002 11:35 PM       View Profile for RSWells   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for RSWells

Brian,
I'll not here discuss the ugly situation of my upbringing which, now in my 49th year and 21 years after my own father's demise is beyond reconciliation and nearly beyond pain.
More importantly I'd say you would do well to grow closer to your own father. While I sense a strain I didn't read anything profoundly schismic (did I say that?) and the timing seems right for both of you.
I've a son a year younger than you who I've stayed as close to as a teenager will allow, who I made certain had better memories.
Looking forward is good, back is not.
          Good luck I've all the faith it will work out for you.
                          Richard
Greeneyes617
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since 11-22-2000
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Arkansas


15 posted 12-10-2002 02:26 PM       View Profile for Greeneyes617   Email Greeneyes617   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Greeneyes617

My dad is pretty cool for the most part. I have always been a daddy's girl. Always more afraid to make him mad then my mom. Mainly because my mom gets mad really easily and dad doesn't. I've never heard anyone say anything bad about him. He was the only one out of 8 kids that actually finished high school, so I have a special pride for him. I have only seen him cry twice. When my grandpa died and when his brother died. I love my dad and am very close to him but lately things have changed. We fight a lot and get annoyed with each other. I don't like it. It makes me sad and puts me in a bad mood. Hopefully things will change.

In regards to Brain's post. It really got to me. I'm glad that you are starting to grow closer to your father.
PoetryIsLife
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16 posted 12-14-2002 01:48 AM       View Profile for PoetryIsLife   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for PoetryIsLife

It was a pleasure to stumble upon this, Brian.

~Titus
neveah5
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since 11-22-2002
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17 posted 12-28-2002 05:35 PM       View Profile for neveah5   Email neveah5   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit neveah5's Home Page   View IP for neveah5

I just recently found out that my father left my mother and I when i was just a baby, maybe a couple of years old.  All along i thought they just got divorced, that it just didnt work out with them.  I Havent spoken to my father for over 10 years, and i recently wrote him a letter after i found his address to tell him he was going to be a grandfather.  He said he wants things to be different now and wants us to have a relationship. He was so happy and excited to hear from me. I dont know how to feel or what to do.  I am the type that is shy and he is like a stranger to me so its hard for me to just open right up and call him.  Hes never really been a part of my life so its not like im stressing out over it or that i really need him around.  I guess i just wanted to find out why he left...
Mysteria
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18 posted 12-28-2002 09:20 PM       View Profile for Mysteria   Email Mysteria   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Mysteria

neveah5 if your Mom never told you the reason, there could be lots of things behind that and it was to protect you I am sure.  Mothers do that, I know I am one and also a Mother of the 60's.  Is why he left the issue or is it the fact that you want him back in your life?  As we get older a sense of family becomes so much more important to us.  I think meeting him can be on your terms now that you are an adult and I am pretty sure that after one or two meetings you will know if you want him part of your life or not I think as my son did.  Once you get a bit of a relationship going and you still feel like addressing this, that might be the time to do it.  Your Dad may or may not feel guilty about leaving for his own reasons, and it certainly wasn't your fault he did.  You are both older and if you can accept him for who he is now and still want him in your life, that is wonderful as that new baby has a Grampa.  By the way, congratulations on your new baby!

May a handshake, smile, kiss or a hug be the best present you give or receive this year.

sweetwater
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since 12-16-2002
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Perth


19 posted 12-28-2002 11:44 PM       View Profile for sweetwater   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for sweetwater

My dad and I were very close. Some said unusually close for a girl to be with her father.. but he was the one I always went to first if I had a problem.. any problem, he would always listen patiently and we would discuss solutions.. I loved that about him (while my mum, though I love her, would say something 'motherly' like "Never mind, dear, there are plenty more fish in the sea", or "That's just the way things are, you'll get used to it".. fine advice but it never helped me at the time)
The day he died I was crushed. I was 14 and had no-one to turn to.. it took me a long time to get over it and I still (15 years later) have moments of total 'aloneness'.
I love hearing how kids and parents connect.. this can only be good for you, take it like it is, cherish each moment and when he's gone you'll have only but good times to focus on... that you've found the connection makes the world smile.
neveah5
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since 11-22-2002
Posts 199
Ohio


20 posted 01-05-2003 05:37 PM       View Profile for neveah5   Email neveah5   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit neveah5's Home Page   View IP for neveah5

My mother actually told me that my father left to be with another woman, who he married, and she said that that woman got him hooked on cocain. my mother isnt the type to make things up, so i believe her. i think my fathers side of the family had trouble with drugs..at least i know one of my uncles commited suicide due to drug addiction.  
anyways, i actually got a message from my father. he left it on my grandmothers answering machine. he doesnt know my phone number but he knows hers.  his oldest son, who is i think about 14, got into a car accident on christmas or christmas eve or something and is in really bad shape.  my fiance ended up calling him after he heard the message.  i still am not comfortable talking with him yet.
Barbara Trautman
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since 10-23-2002
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21 posted 01-06-2003 08:27 PM       View Profile for Barbara Trautman   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Barbara Trautman

Brian, I am quite a bit older than any who have so far posted.  I have one little piece of advice which took me many years to learn since I, too, had a hard childhood and my eldest son had a particularly harrowing experience.  Please don't judge your father until you know him.  What you don't realize when you are young is that your parents are working with tools that their parents handed to them.  We all do what we know how to do and that is to treat our children as we were treated.  Does that make it right?  No, of course not.  Parenting does not come with an instruction book and most of us bungle it one way or another.  Your father (and your mother) did what they thought best and what they learned when they were children.  Take this to heart, put whatever happened between you and your father away somewhere in your heart and give him a second chance.  It may be the best thing that ever happened to you.  It is a lot harder to stay angry with someone than it is to love them.  Please try it and let all of us out here know what happened in the end.  Please write again.  Barbara
majnu
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22 posted 01-15-2003 01:50 AM       View Profile for majnu   Email majnu   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for majnu

i envy you in that you have been able to become close to your father.

i love mine, but I do not like him much. we are awkward when alone and perhaps too much alike to every get along. he scares me because so much of what he is, is what I want to avoid desperately, yet could become easily.

he has always been there for me, though never really FOR ME. more because it is the thing to do and his upbringing says so.

he likes my younger brother better. he had adjusted to fatherhood by the time my brother was born. I however am the one that stole the lion's share of attention from his wife. it is no small coincidence that he first went out on my mother just after I was born.

i hate him partially for hurting my mother, too whom I am perhaps overly close, if only because I am so distant from him.

in the grand scheme of things though, while I resent him partly, and hate him partly, I cannot imagine life without him at any time. however my parents marriage they have been and still are my safe harbor, and that at least makes them both for me good decent people.

the world is really like a kurt vonnegut novel. it is indecent en generale. most of us are decent people trying to act decently to the best of our ability in indecent situations. we have to cut each other some slack if we are to get on.

i have never seen my father show an great emotion though, i have inherited at least that much from him.

-majnu
--------------------------------------
Timid thoughts be not afraid. I am a Poet.

[This message has been edited by majnu (01-15-2003 01:58 AM).]

Sunshine
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since 06-25-99
Posts 67715
Listening to every heart


23 posted 01-15-2003 06:43 AM       View Profile for Sunshine   Email Sunshine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Sunshine's Home Page   View IP for Sunshine


Grab this opportunity, Brian.
Not every young person has it.
It WILL one of the turning points of your
life, and of your writing.
Trust me.
I know.
anonymousfemale
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Limbo


24 posted 01-15-2003 08:28 AM       View Profile for anonymousfemale   Email anonymousfemale   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for anonymousfemale

My father...what can be said about the man. Lets see - the memories I have of him are either never being there or only there to administer punishment for being a child. I hate being alone with him and in the same room as him. Then again, I look at the man and see a person that is so lost in life that the only way they know how to survive is to pretend that everything is ok.
I still hate him but I pity his sorry ass as well.

Sorry to hear about what you're going through, Brian. I hope that everything goes well with you and your fathers relationship. Good luck.

Don't steal - the Government hates competition.

 
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