Friday, June 19, 2015

Big Al

I am not a father and I never wanted to be a father. Oh, on occasion Mark has suggested we adopt a child, but I think one big baby around here is more than enough. My dad was the opposite. I'll never understand why, but Dad and Mom had eleven children. I realize that Mom had the biggest share of raising us and she spent the most time with us (How she stayed sane all those years I'll never understand), but Dad did his fatherly duties. When he was home, he was really there. You knew that there was a force in the house greater than all the child temper tantrums in the world.

I have a lot of memories of my dad. Baseball games on the little black and white television, with a bottle of Blatz Beer sitting on the table next to his favorite chair. The Saturday grocery shopping when he would return home with an entire station wagon full of food. All of it purchased with coupons or on sale. My dad did his job as prescribed by the culture of the time. He worked, he housed us, he fed us, he sent us to school, and he disciplined us. Oh, that damn belt hurt. One dad job that I don't envy were the phone calls. At work he would get the call from my mom on a stormy, rainy day, "Al, the basement is flooding. There are actual turds backing up into our basement."
Or the call from my school, "This is Sister Mary Vindicativam. We have a problem, it's Alan."
And then there was the one he got from the police late one night, "Sir, I'm afraid there's been an accident."
I'm sure it wasn't easy for him at times, but he never gave up on any of us. I miss that guy. I sure wish I could call him right now.

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