Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Father's Day

I had a complicated relationship with my dad in my youth but, in adulthood, I reconciled the bad parts and chose to be kind to him.  That was the right choice and it's made both of us happier.

He's doing well at age 84, living down in Florida in a nice house with a pool.  He has a female partner and many friends.  After he retired from the police force in 1985, he and my mom moved down South.  (She died in 1990.)  He's traveled around the world multiple times and lived a relatively charmed life since then.  He's comfortable in all ways.

By contrast, my father's childhood was spent in war-time chaos.  He was born in Germany (1930) and grew up during World War II (1933-1945).  His hometown of Stuttgart was bombed, so he was sent to live with relatives in remote farmland.  In 1950, he came to this country on a boat and started to build a new life from scratch.  He socialized with other immigrants and met my mother at their local tavern.

My dad succeeded in creating a new life.  He found his soulmate (my mother) and a decent career (law enforcement).  My parents relished their family life for four decades.  My mother and brother passed away in 1990-1991 which was a blow: half of our family disappeared almost overnight.  But my dad and I survived and found new ways to relate to each other.  I'm going to call him in a few minutes.

What's your family history with your father?


  1. Not everyone has a picture perfect childhood with their father, I could go on and on being a product of divorced parents where my father was a drug addict, alcoholic, bipolar mental disorder, but I am going to focus on the good part.
    Although a weekend dad, every weekend he took me out to the park, to the movies, to dinner, even to the beach every weekend in the summer.
    Yes i have to admit i thought it was normal thing to be going to AA Meetings as well growing up-I can tell you numerous stories about that, but i also met my first boyfriend at an AA meeting until he tragically passed away at the age of 15..

    ANyway, my father although passed on is in a much better place then he ever was in life. he is at peace and happy, and truthfully so am i. My mother still clinges on to his memory, and is visiting him at the cemetary at calverton.
    ALthough there is a long story, he was granted an honorable military funeral. I remember my father through the stories and memories of my heart, not through a gravestone.

    So glad that you can call your father, and that you were able to mend the relationship.
    More importantly always cherish the good memories of your father, and the life you had....because even harboring on the bad stuff, doesnt do anyone good, more importantly doesn't bring you to peace either.

    I made my peace with my dad..and he is at peace as well

  2. How great that you made peace with your dad. That takes courage and a good heart. Mine was born in 1930, too, but has been gone for eleven years. We reconciled from my childhood issues as well, and became close in his last ten years. I still miss his laugh, and his good advice.

  3. Thank you for sharing your story Ally. It seems like many of us had difficult times with our fathers growing up. The last few years have brought my dad and I closer together than we have ever been. I have been especially thankful for his love and support these last few weeks. Have a lovely day!

  4. My dad was amazing and he passed away relatively young, when he was 60. I really miss him. Thanks for sharing about your dad.

  5. This is a nice personal post :) relationship with parents aren't always easy, but it's cool to find a way to communicate anyway. I have a good relationship with my dad but I talk much more with mom. Hugs

    Fashion and Cookies

  6. I had a rough relationship with my dad, but not too traumatic - he died of a heart attack when I was 29, just as I was starting to get to know him as a person. I miss him - it's been nearly 17 years.

  7. I'm glad you have a relationship with your father and he's still doing well.
    My parents divorced when I was about 5. At age 9 (and at my wishes) my dad hired an attorney and we all went to court. He was able to obtain custody of me and I went to live with him. Other than the birth of my daughter it was the greatest event of my life. He was my everything. My source of happiness, love, and fun. He was a joy to be around and still is. I was always happy with him. I could never thank him enough for what he's given me. I guess maybe I should tell him that....

  8. I guess at 29, I'm still at that point in my life when me and dad are supposed to bump heads because he's an old fart and I'm a young idiot. I'm ready for this phase to be over. Will it ever be over? Maybe when I'm 50 and he's 85 we'll be on the same page... but for now - we're night and day. It's not fun. It's not cute. It's just plain annoying.

  9. I am really lucky to have wonderful parents, both of whom are very much alive, two blocks away from me and a big part of my life. I hope you had a good phone chat with your dad. I believe that both parent and adult child are responsible for the health of the relationship and also that some parents do things which are unforgivable and nobody should fell they have to make peace with an abusive or neglectful parent. I am assuming your situation was not such a one and happy for you that peace of some sort has been achieved.

  10. Our dad was always a bit uncomfortable with 5 girls, but he did a pretty fabulous job as a dad. And seeing him with my kids now always puts a smile on my face.

  11. Aw, that's such a sweet post. I love how you've found ways to reconcile and get past your past with him. It's so crucial especially with your mom and brother gone.

  12. Wow. There is a whole lot of history in this short, bittersweet post. I can't imagine the heartache that was felt that day.

    It sounds like both you and your father have incredible stories to tell. I'm happy to hear that you and your father were able to set aside differences and have a kind relationship with each other. That is wonderful! My father and I haven't spoken for over 10 years, and I have a feeling both of us are perfectly fine with that.

  13. So glad you still have your Dad after losing your Mom and sister.

    I've had some issues with my Dad (as he was not faithful to my Mom which really tore me up) but we have also since patched up and moved forward.

    He is a very funny guy and was always supportive for me. I love him very much.


  14. I love to hear that you and your dad get along and that you chose to make it work.
    I do not have a relationship with my father and I have chosen to think that he missed out.
    My father's days were for my grandfather who passed away over 10 years ago, he was a kind hearted, patient and loving man that I am most grateful for.

  15. Such a nice post about your dad. I love that photo.

    Trevor (he never earned the title dad or even father) walked out on my mother when I was a baby and when I contacted him when I was sixteen, he met me but then promptly disappeared again.
    The next I heard about him was the following year when I was told he was in hospital but I was told I didn't have to go and see him ... it really felt like I was being told to keep away to be honest. The next day he died aged forty.
    Imagine my horror when his family contacted me, a seventeen year old living at home, to get me to foot the bill for his funeral! I said I couldn't pay but they kept at me and then told me that I didn't have to go to the funeral which again smacked of them telling me to stay away, helped considerably when they wouldn't tell me any dates or places, in fact they told me he was being buried 'up north' and then asked again if I could pay the bill. I never did and later found out he was buried in the same city as I lived.
    I do have a lovely step dad, although I never lived with him and my mother and couldn't bring myself to call him dad as it felt odd but my mother's dad, my lovely grandad was like my dad, he was wonderful and I only wish I had known him longer but he died when I was seven :(

  16. Great post about your Dad. It is sad when we don't have great relationships with our parents ... and when parents are divorced and live far away it is even more difficult ~ I unfortunately didn't have a great relationship with my Dad which I regret but we will make it up in heaven one day!