As described so many times in my stories, Dad was hard to live with. Mostly a result of his alcoholism and toughness with jobs. The result of having to move quite a number of times, because our family didn't fit into the social groups, my sisters and I were often filled with fear and anger and piles and piles of frustration.
Until I was about 5, I don't recall any serious difficulty. But just as I was turning 5, life changed. Big Time!!
|Graduated when 60 years old.|
He liked to read, but it wasn't what he should have read to grow stronger. Dad also was on the train with a cousin as hobos hopping on freight trains. As a teen, he was going back and forth between Portland and Tacoma area, working sometimes, stealing sometimes. Then, when WWII was hitting him, his life changed again, both for good or evil.
I remember a couple things that were heart-filling. For me. As I said, he wasn't always mean, but sure struggled. I remember one of his jobs as a taxi driver. He came home one night, stabbed. The rider had refused to pay and knifed him. He was able to get his arm fixed up, but he started taking a blackjack in his taxi so he could whack when threatened. Then, his other jobs were connected to construction and lumbering. He'd do really well for a while, and then the drunkness would kick in, and he'd lose the jobs.
When in Tacoma when he was sober, out of work, dealing with daughters, babysitting at home [Mom was working], and taking care of the house, he did a good job. One of the things that always makes me smile is what the stressfulness of washing clothes reality was like back then. Remember? Got clothes washed either in a machine or in a tub. Always hung them outside to dry... or inside when the freezing or raining was hitting them. In those days, also, girls wore dresses to school...usually cotton. Everything needed to be ironed. Dad ironed piles of the dresses for the girls when he was home. Men rarely did those things in those years. So Dad was a blessing in this instance.
I have a very blessed moment in time, also. At the end of my 5th grade year, with my report card when school ended. I was filled with rejoicing, because I had straight-A's that time.
When Dad was coming home from a job, climbing up the stairs from the street to the yard, and I ran out and hollered about it, my Dad knelt down, threw his arms around me, gave me a kiss and was teary. He was so happy for me, and it filled his heart with joy.
Yes, life was usually filled with toughness from my parents. Occasionally, they did very good and kind things for me and my sisters, usually when they had left the alcohol, stopped hanging out at bars, and were working consistently. But, for some reason, they both began hitting the bars again, and danger began again for them and many others.
But, when I think of Dad, I DO remember the ironing he did and the gratefulness he had when I had straight-A's the first time.
As I often say, I'm truly looking forward to seeing Dad in heaven, because he no longer has the painfulness -- in his spirit, soul, and body -- since he had been a young kid. 1) He had serious heart issues, mostly because his mom had the 1918 Flu when pregnant with him. 2) As a young boy was threatened to be murdered by a step-dad. 3) Poverty stricken, and then having to deal with serious situations during the Great Depression and WWII.
But the Lord broke through his life a number of times, protecting him, drawing him to Himself, and Dad finally turned to the Lord, thoroughly.
I had rarely seen my Dad after I was 23, when I, married, had moved to California. Heard from him every year or so, and that was it. When I was 32, when I lived in Omaha, that's when he called to tell me about his salvation, and then sent me a wonderful letter.
And I'm so looking forward to being with him in heaven. After all these years, I can be with him as his "little girl". What a treat that will be.
I'm sorry this doesn't move logically, systematically...but it wasn't easy to organize. But sharing my Dad was very important. Shared Mom last week and this was laid on me by the Lord.