Sunday, June 21, 2009

My Daddy

Today is Father's Day.
I had a really great Daddy!
His name was Paul.
Paul Euclid xxxxxxxx,
an odd middle name, but he turned out to be an accountant
so it was actually fitting.
He was always an executive in his jobs,-
always a vice president-treasure,
so he was able to be a great provider!
Actually, he was very smart, close to brilliant...
at least in my eyes,
Definitely the smartest in our family.
And he was always nice to me.
He loved me & I knew it.
Altho' he was not demonstrative, warm or fuzzy.

He lived more in his head than in his heart.
He often would be reading during his time off, whether it was newspapers, magazines, or one of his many hard-cover books - while listening to classical music of which he had vast amounts of LPs. Not to mention a fabulous sound system. He had a library where he had books BEHIND books. And after he had bypass surgery, he took a speed reading course so he could try to finish reading all his beloved books before he died at the age of 68.

He also had a work bench & giant tools in the garage & was very handy - when he got the chance.

His other hobby was photography, he had Nikons & also could develop his own pictures which he taught me to do at a young age. (8yrs!). (I now am a great amature photographer, but didn't retain the development process!)

Since all his hobbies & interests were something he only did alone, I figured out a way to get more attention by becoming the center of many of the photos he took. My brother & I were chronicled growing up & I love being able to visit our childhood thru all the pictures.

My father was a very dapper dresser with all his suits, ties, shoes & hats. However he had no clue how to dress on the weekends, or when he got home from work to relax. He had bermuda shorts with tucked in izod type button-down tees with a Belt... and hurache sandals with socks. heh heh. My poor little daddy.

He was nice to me, kind. And I could tell there were often times I fascinated him. He was my smart, little ole Daddy & I loved him.

But he was gone a lot - traveled abroad often for his job. Emotionally he was a vapor. He frustrated my Mother no end, never gave her much attention, was not at all romantic, never gave her compliments for all her cooking, house keeping, & the lovely way she always dressed & took care of herself. She tried so hard to please him, but he barely noticed. Too me it was his power struggle & defense.

My mother was VERY difficult. NOTHING EVER made her happy. We all tried & tried, but she would scream & yell, throw hissy fits & slap & hit my brother & I constantly.

I think after his initial shock at the jeckle/hyde crazy, emotional wreck he married, my father just retreated into his shell to escape the insanity. But it certainly didn't help. She was SO needy & he basically refused to get caught up in her craziness. He froze her out. It was cruel.

And her ego was too damn fragile to admit she needed help, so she would only go for "counseling" with our church pastors, develop a crush on them & scare them off.

Mother & Daddy both could have used therapy, but were too busy trying to present a "perfect family" front to the outside world. I think maybe Daddy wasn't that kind to Alan either because my brother would rebel at all the "perfection" that was asked of us & ended up being somewhat of a problem... Poor Alan.

Of course I was always trying to be perfect in order to keep the family together & the happy scherade up. I didn't rebel & go nuts until I moved out to NYC at 21yrs.

Well anyway, this was supposed to be about my father, but I had to bring up the truth in how he never got help for my mother. When I told him she was crazy, he said 'NO she's NOT." I really don't know how they stayed together all those years, pretending to the world that everything was fine.

My Dad tho' DID try to give us wonderful vacations, driving us cross country, camping in different National Parks each year! It was his way of educating us & it was glorious! Apart from my Mother exploding every 3 days at just the stress of being Ruth, (don't you love it - Ruth & Paul?) it was great fun & adventures, & some of my best childhood memories.

And my Most Favorite memory is when driving me to my 3rd year of college, he pulled over for fuel at a gas station & bought me a BEAUTIFUL, shiney red Corvair convertable that was for sale there, so they wouldn't have to keep driving 3 hrs to pick me up & take me back!!! It was the biggest thrill ever!

He was a great father - to me. I miss him a lot. He passed about 25 yrs ago. My mother 12 yrs after that. They both did the best they could & I do appreciate it. I wish I would have told them more often.

One thing I learned for sure... It is MUCH easier to forgive after someone dies. I'm so sorry for ALL the pain my Mother lived her life in, altho' she always took it out on us. It is tragic to recall.

And I'm so sorry for the pain my father also lived with (if not contributed to.) I think he may have been living in the closet. In another lifetime perhaps he would have had courage to come out & be gay. We'll never really know & at this time it doesn't even matter.

Happy Father's Day Dad. Thank you for Everything! I'll love you always. xxxooo.



the only daughter said...

You have wonderfully vivid memories of what sounds like a wonderful man.

Happy, happy to him (and you).


Maria said...

What a beautiful, truthful story. It sounds like he was a good, albeit, flawed man. I love it that you didn't sugar coat this. You just presented this fully realized...person. And I liked him.

Anonymous said...

For ALL THE WORLD I would give just about anything to have a memory like yours, Kat.