My story is similar to most people’s that I write about. It starts out with a mom and pop, but somehow, the pop magically disappears. My parents separated with I was six and I remember the day he told me the news like it was yesterday and I’m 50+ years young today.
Anyway, my dad told me that he and my mom were not getting along well and that he would not be living with us any longer but he was still my dad. Well, as young as I was, I could see that and a piece of me was really happy about the separation.
My dad and I were close and before all of this happened, I would run to my dad when my mom and I wasn’t hitting it off. Oh, I definitely understood his pain. The only problem was who would I run to when I needed a shoulder to cry on? He was the only one I could talk to.
Bennie was not a man of many words, but when he did talk, I’d listen. He gave me particular advice on how to deal with my mother’s rants and tantrums. It appeared to work out for me, however his own advice backfired on him.
When I was bored, Dad told me to write or read a book or a newspaper. If that wasn’t good enough, he’d tell me to listen to the world news. He thought by occupying my mind, it would keep me quiet. This didn’t work out in his favor either. It actually made me ask him more bothersome questions. Nonetheless, I was super smart and I could read better than anyone in my classroom.
I remember the Christmas he bought me a typewriter. It took everything he had to make that purchase as he was tight with a dollar. However, I was now the proud owner of a blue Brother manual typewriter. Little did we know that I’d still be typing and expressing my feelings many years later.
As you may have suspected, we kind of drifted apart throughout the years. He got sick and was gone by the time I was 19. Mom has plenty of talk about him and she says we are much alike. My dad was something else but he was still my dad! I miss him and I’ll never forget the little talks we had.
He’s the reason I joined the armed forces. He’s the reason why I think of paying myself first. My dad’s the reason why I didn’t give up on my dream and why I write today. You see, it didn’t take a whole lot of time to make me happy and it certainly wasn’t about material things. It was the fact that I was with my dad when it mattered the most.
Here it is – 25 years later and I still talk to him when I need to vent about mother. I still salute him on Veteran’s Day and Father’s Day. He’s still my dad and I thank him for just being there.
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