My Dad

I had been in the Marines for four years when my dad died. When I enlisted, he was a practicing alcoholic. I never knew him sober. He tried AA, a couple times, but it didn't take then. He wasn't a mean drunk. He would get off work, come home, sit in front of the TV. Either till bed or he passed out. He almost never yelled at us, or anything. Of course, that means that he spoke to me maybe a total of 2 hours my whole life.
His dad was an alcoholic also, but he would beat my dad when drunk. My dad forged his dads signature and left for the Navy at 17.

Enough history, I was driving to work one morning, 5:30, on a Sunday. It's really lonely, no other cars.
I was thinking of everything under the sun. I started thinking about my dad and I had an epiphany. A moment of clarity. My dad never talked or interacted with us, because he was protecting us. He was afraid of being his dad, and hurting us. Physically. He just didn't realize he was hurting us mentally.
At that moment I could forgive him for 22 years of being a stranger instead of a dad.
He did make it to sobriety, for the last 2 years of his life. I never saw that. My little brother did. I am jealous of him.
johnlava johnlava
46-50, M
1 Response Jan 18, 2013

Aw, John, I'm sorry. But I'm glad you were able to see through it. We sometimes can't understand until much later in life. Time to heal, and move on. :)

You are so right. I'm slowly getting rid of the baggage weighing me down. You've been a big help, with some of it. Thank you, so much.