My Fathers Eyes - Guilt I Cant Shake Off

Can we ever repay our parents for the sacrifices they make in an effort to make sure their childrens lives are better than their own?

Its a sunny day on the deck of my new home. Sprawling estate with a newly constructed, self deigned dream home sitting perfectly on the lot. Ive just spent the better part of an hour showing the man that made it all possible the ins and outs of a life i get to live still finding myself on the lower side of 30 years old.

We sit in the sun over a drink and i beam with happiness. Then it slowly drifts away. Im not sure if its in the creases of his eyes, or the scarred hands calloused over many times again. He looks tired, the shell of the man i see in pictures of the family when i was a child. A tough guy, a union guy, pushed a welder in horrible conditions for the better part of 40 years. Fixed cars when the union striked, sold cases of OJ out of the trunk of his car when i needed books for college, lived in a mobile home after a divorce to save any free penny and still does to this day. Never owned a new car or dream home, never got to visit the far away lands he dreamed of backpacking in his youth, or exerience the open roads he dreamed of riding on his only real possesion, his harley davidson.

This man is not dumb. He is the smartest person i know. Gifted in math and science, studied in philosphy and full of wisdom, he can fix anything. He was an excellent student and could have done anything. But he got someone pregnant young. He never left his kids, he dropped out of college and started working a trade to provide food and housing for his kids. And years went by, he took one class a semester for 15 years and graduated college in his 40s. Just so when we grew up he could say he had a degree and we need one too.

So as i sit here i feel the guilt come over me. Why do i deserve this life? He worked harder than me, im a white collar guy, i make decisions and lead people amd take risks and the money rolls in. I cant believe this is fair. he grinded it out 70 hrs a week for a lifetime and has nothing. Im 6 years into adulthood and career and i am fortunate to have everything i want. Do i work for it? Yes i did and still do. Nothing was handed to me, i studied hard, made the grades, interned at the bottom and clawed my way up. I stayed out of trouble and earned every opportunity. But i feel like **** when i see him so worn down. When i see the price that was payed in blood and dreams for my success i cant shake it. I cant wash it off. I cant buy it away, i offer money to repay, trips to anywhere he wants to go, but normally he refuses. Just my time. Thats all he asks for. He wants to talk, and ride motorcycles together and he wants to know his grandkids (still working on finding the right woman). And i will make sure he gets all of that and more. It just seems so insufficient. Its like giving someone a dollar for saving your life. The payment doesnt fit the return.

I dont know what to do. Ive struggled so much. I dont feel deserving, he deserves this life. He deserves the house and the nice cars and the releif of laying at night without ever having bills cross his kind. I know he is proud of me, he is never shy with praise or hugs, or a phone call to remind me he loves me. He is always be my side in times of trouble and he is the greatest man i have ever known and i just cant help feeling guilty for the price he payed for me and my siblings. Any ideas how i can wake up and feel okay about myself?

Iplayrough Iplayrough
31-35, M
Jul 31, 2013