I bookmarked your reply, Erik, hoping to get back to it long before now. Your words were full of understanding and truth and I truly appreciate them and you.
I gave my father many passes on his behavior because I had a great deal of empathy for his situation as a single father at a time when nearly all homes revolved around traditional mothers. My mom’s death was sudden — a heart attack at 39 — total shock. I know how hard that was for a tradition husband at that time, a man who worked and handled the finances but had little involvement with household responsibilities or child care. For almost 50 years, I put up with his emotional and mental abuse because of my great empathy for him. My sisters cut him loose from their lives long before I did. Even then, after all those years, it wasn’t easy. But, I know it was the right thing to do for my own survival.
I was very fortunate in many ways. We were much better off financially than most in our poverty-stricken area. I was never physically abused. I know my blessings as well as my trials and my blessings were greater because they allowed me to move forward in ways others are not able.
My father taught me to work hard, to love animals, and to always be on time. My love of reading came from him as well as my ability from a very young age to engage in meaningful and mature conversations.
I was not able to be child during my childhood but I believe that made me better prepared for adulthood.
It’s a all a trade off, isn’t?