Saturday, June 30, 2012

My Father

My Father died in a single vehicle roll-over 10 years ago on the 27th of June; 5 1/2 months after my mother's fatal heart attack.  High gravel ridge down the centre of the highway which was being resurfaced.  It blended into the highway too well and in spite of signs, he didn't see it.  Skid marks were less than 6 feet in length. He was 80 years old, had planted his 60th crop but didn't get to harvest it.

I learned a lot from my dad.  Some things he taught me he knew about.  Straight fence lines were important to him.  I learned to like cattle and how to work with them.  Our handling facilities were atrocious so one had to "think like a cow" to patiently anticipate and counter each move until she went into the barn or the corral or wherever.  He taught me to play checkers by never giving me a break until I mastered the game.  I lost hundreds and hundreds of games over a three or four year period until I finally won.  Eventually I stopped losing entirely.  Then it was no more fun for either of us.

Other things I learned he didn't know he was teaching me.  Like to put away your tools and tidy up after working on a project.  I don't always but he never did.  Like avoiding auction sales and accumulating junk "that we are going to do something with someday".  I accumulated books and papers instead. I also learned to be pro anything that gave women more rights, more recognition as human beings and equals and learned to hate the words submit and submissive, the religious males who spew them and women who endure abuse of any kind rather than fight back because they have been brainwashed into believing "God" wants them to submit.

I spent one year trying to farm with my father after university.  I left before one of us killed the other.

I set out just now determined to write a great deal more but my conscience has invoked the Thumper's Mother's Rule.  They are my own demons to wrestle.  But at least I wrote something on the 10th anniversary of his death.

9 comments:

  1. I envy you - I never knew a father.
    the Ol'Buzzard

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    1. Thanks, Ol'Buzzard. Guess I needed that. There were worse dads. Like my father's father.
      We all seem to envy someone. I envy the young men whose parents were a team and who were a team with their fathers and who carried on the farm as father and son.

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  2. Hey Al,

    I'm glad you wrote this. Thanks. My story on my Dad is that when I was an early teen he didn't know anything and was so bad it was embarassing. But, by the time I was in my 20s I was amazed at how much he'd learned! Seriously, I always really admired him but felt intimidated because he seemed so smart and so good at so many things. And, what is ironic, is that the things I used to hate when I was growing up have turned into the learnings and lessons that I value the most. I too tried to work with my Dad and that didn't work. Fortunately we have perservered and he has been my best friend for many years now.

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    1. I am glad for both of you that you were able to do that.

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  3. Sometimes the lessons we learn 'by accident' are the most important.

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  4. I didn't realize it's been 10 years. Hard to believe.

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    1. Violet, you are absolutely correct.

      Ky, times goes and you wonder where.

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  5. Good for you for breaking the cycle...

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    1. Only partly but I tried. You will have to ask my kids for an honest opinion.

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