Happy Birthday, Big Al!

sol #SOL 18 Day 15

Never forget who was with you from the start. ~ Anonymous

 

Today is my father’s birthday.

He would have been 90,

but he has been gone

for 22 years.

 

I often wonder if he had lived

if life would be different

or not.

 

Would he have overcome his

Alcoholism?

Would he have become less angry

as he aged?

 

I doubt it.

 

Our relationship has changed

over the past 22 years.

How might you ask?

 

I’ve grown older and wiser.

I see that life is not clear cut –

black or white.

 

Life is messy.

 

Although my greatest joy

has been being a parent,

it can really suck at times.

 

You do the best you can with

the hand you are dealt.

You can win, but more often

you are bluffing or folding.

 

My parents struggled financially,

and I think my dad was depressed –

his bourbon and water a way to self-medicate.

Who talked about depression in the 60s?

Certainly not men!

 

We certainly did not see eye to eye very often,

and he ruled supreme

with a heavy hand and strict rules,

But he loved us and made time

to coach baseball and attend concerts.

 

I’d like to think our parenting styles

are polar opposites.

While no parent is perfect, I tried

to be more caring and compassionate.

I did the best I could.

 

I am sure when my own children

look back they will definitely

agree they were loved, but I bet

they will think they do

a better job as parents –

give them another 25 or 30 years.

 

Happy Birthday, Big Al!

4 thoughts on “Happy Birthday, Big Al!

  1. What a touching, honest post. It’s amazing how much we learn as the years go on. It’s easier to see the gray areas of life as we age and our judgements become less harsh. Beautiful post, Rita.

    Like

  2. “Big Al” was a product of his time. You felt his love and he showed it to you in the ways you list. But his biggest gift is that he stuck it out. Being a parent is hard, as you say. I’m glad experience has shown you your father in a new light. Your poem is lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Experience certainly gives us a different perspective on our memories. Happy birthday to your father; I’m hoping you get to talk to your own children today, too. I would bet they feel your love more than you can imagine.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love this slice. Thoughtful, introspective, honest, and packed with emotion. The format helped convey the feelings in this piece very well. Thank you for your bravery and honesty and willingness to share. Happy Thursday. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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