Fathers Day 2015...Hmmmm!
What kind of father have I been over the course of the last 55 years? That's a difficult question to answer. Truth be known, I am rather afraid of the answer.
The only father I was ever exposed to was Ken Wright and he died when I was 13-years-of-age. The impressionable years of my life were smack-dab in the middle of World War Two. My father's business was in Chatham during that time period and because of the war "rationing" imposition, he was only able to accumulate enough gas coupons to allow him to make a once-a-week, 18-mile trip to our home in Dresden on Saturday evenings after closing up his shop. He slept on a cot in the second floor King Street West location in Chatham through the week. I do not know where he ate or what he ate. He was subject to migraine headaches and I do know that he went through countless bottles of AlkaSeltzer each week...It was often my job to empty the garbage.
When the war ended, Ken had the better part of five years to be with us full-time at home in Dresden before his untimely death at 52 years of age. In those few short years he taught me the meaning of fatherly nurturing, support and dedication. We got by with very little in terms of material necessities, but we were together as a family unit and that was all that mattered.
As a father myself in the 1960s and '70s, I too was pre-occupied with a demanding career and making a living. In addition, I always had one or two part-time jobs and found time to be involved in minor sports and the Boy Scouts/Big Brothers movements, just to mention a few volunteer activities -- giving back to the community, as it were. In between times I was the "dad" of two young girls who I suspect grew up to be beautiful women (and mothers) in spite of me...All due credit to their mother.
I was a cautious father, not wanting to smother my girls but at the same time being fully available to them -- when I was not otherwise involved outside the home. For some unexplainable reason, I fear that I withheld a certain amount of affection, you know of the hugs-and-kisses variety...Still do for that matter...And that bothers me, and no doubt down deep it bothers them too. In retrospect, I fear that I could have done a better job. How much better, I cannot really say. Maybe it's self inflicted fatherly second guessing in wishing that I could do it all over again
But, know what?...You only get one crack at being a father and you have to live with what was, not what should have been in a perfect world. With any luck, you do some of the important things right...And your kids love you in spite of yourself, and because in there mind you did your best.
Children are very forgiving in that way...Thank God!
I love you too girls!!!