My father was a tough man to live with. I was an only child born out-of-wedlock and more than likely not out of love. Caring maybe, love I will never believe it. My father was the oldest of four kids and a mother of gold. He graduated high school at the age of sixteen and received his degree in forestry from Louisiana State University in 1941. He was a navigator for the US Army Air Corps during World War II. He was a son, a brother, a husband, a father and an alcoholic. He was loved by his friends who did not know the man I knew. He was well thought of in the community. He was an intelligent man who read constantly. He died at the age of 64 on April 27, 1982. That was a little over a week before my high school graduation. My memories only begin at age 5 for a reason I can’t explain. Maybe others are like this as well, I don’t know. We briefly lived in New Iberia, Louisiana before finding a house to rent on a sugar cane farm just outside historic St. Martinville Louisiana. We resided in this 3 bedroom wooden house with no heating or air conditioning till his death. All my memories of him are in this house. My memory of him was drinking every day, except for the occasional hospital stay for heart issues. A few days of peace was interrupted by his return home. There were lots of yelling at my mother, me, the television or just at nothing at all. He was occasionally warm and tender then off he went breaking a window or throwing a beer can across the room while my mom and I watched television. He was Jekyll and Hyde which made it more difficult cause you didn’t know who you were getting each day. My defense was to just stay away which I did often. It was only years later that I realized why I was away from home so often. To my mom, I am sorry for this, it must have hurt her or perhaps she was happy that I wasn’t going through something I should not have at that moment. She took the brunt of things, often protecting me and I love her dearly for that.
With all this said, I did love him. And we did lots of things together. So every Friday (beginning next Friday) will be Father Friday whereabouts I will write some memories I have of my time with him. For me, its kind of healing process. A time to filter the bad and find the good. Amongst all the tirades where moments of instruction, laughter, love and normalcy. Too few unfortunately. I will begin each Father Friday with a link to this post so readers will get a brief background of my relationship with my father. Time is starting to heal my wounds. I am learning to forgive, slowly. Perhaps sharing some of the moments of my past me will aid in this healing process. Time will tell.
Till we meet again. Good day.
Mind of Shoo