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*Warning - this is a completely self indulgent post*

 

I thought about Stradling, and the struggles he had with his dad passing away.  I thought about my dad, who will be gone five years this decemmber.  Moreso, I thought about how I rarely think about him.

 

First off, he was a good dad.  He took the job seriously.  Was always around.  Was a ball-buster to the Nth degree.  Told us he loved us once in a while.

 

But man, he could be a prick.  Non stop.

 

I have told some of these stories here, but he (and my mom to an extent) had so many WTF moments.. .not just as parents, but as grandparents.  These aren't crying, or complaints by me.  I tell them with amusement.

 

 

We lived on the east coast, and were driving somewhere on vacation in the 1970s.  We stopped at a Howard Johnson's, for ice cream.  Their deal was 28 flavors (as opposed to baskin Robbin's 31 flavors).  My dad counted up the number of flavors that day.  They were short of 28.  I remember standing out in the parking lot, eating my ice cream cone, as he argued that we should have free ice cream, since they didn't offer the requisite 28 flavors.

 

My siblings and I were not allowed to sleep over at anyone's house.  Ever.  "You have your own bed."

 

My siblings and I never had a birthday party with friends.  Just the immediate family.

 

As we grew up and had kids, my parents never went to any of the grandkid's high school graduations.  I asked my mom about it.  Her reply:  "If we went to one, we'd have to go to them all."

 

My dad and his brother had an argument one year at thanksgiving.  I don't remember the specifics, all you could hear was the shouting:  "You're an asshole!" "No, you're an asshole!!" "You're a double asshole!"

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My dad was a long-haired Dazed & Confused type dude when I was born. He smokes pot to this day. I found his stash (multiple pounds) when I was 13 or 14. I didn't smoke my first joint until college

There’s so much awesomeness in this photo I don’t know where to begin. 

My dad was a pretty introverted guy when I was growing up. He was a big drinker, which helped with his social awkwardness, until he gave it up when I was 8. Mom gave him an ultimatum. He went on a 3-d

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We lived in maryland, the winters could be brutal. In high school, once in a while, not only would you get a snow day, but they'd announce it the night before.  Perfect, right?

 

My dad would get me and my brother up at maybe 7:00am, to get our asses out of bed, and beat anybody else to shovel driveways in the neighborhood.

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My dad passed away in 97 when I had just turned 21. It was during USMC boot camp. It was completely expected, so I asked my mom not to send out any notice or anything when it happened. We got mail every Sunday, and my mom was writing pretty much every day, so I got the news a couple of days after it happened. It was awful, but whatever. 

 

My dad was a Korean War vet. Retired Army Sgt Major, Green Beret with 2 purple hearts and a bunch of really high ranking awards. 

 

I still have great memories of him as a little guy, and he was always great with my sister and brother's kids, too. Super giving and loving with the kids.  He struggled in relationships with adults, though.  

 

Had a really hard time trying to be close to him as a teenager and beyond because he became a very aloof, distant man. Never went to any sports or music events I was a part of growing up.  I understand now that he had terrible PTSD, which was a "wimpy" thing back then, so he hid it with alcohol and isolation.  As a kid, I didn't really understand, but I do now.  

 

He tried his best, and worked hard to provide for us, which is what I will always love about him. Wish I could've known him as a fully mature adult. 

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i don't have an enjoyable relationship with my dad. he turns 89 in a couple of months, and he's getting closer to passing. when his time comes, it'll be hard on me that i don't have a ton of great stories of the two of us and the things we did. i envy those of you who have great relationships with your dad and all the great things the two of you have done. i'm trying to have that kind of relationship with my daughter.

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One time I sold a car for him  - call it 1995, and he figured the penny saver in long beach would be better than in Santa Clarita.  He offered me either 20% or so as incentive to sell.  Fair deal.

 

I was working 60+ hours a week at public accounting firm.  Married a couple years, a couple of babies at home. 

 

We sold the thing on like 8:30 on a tuesday night.  Soon, I was off to bed, ready for work the next morning.

I called him wednesday evening, told him it sold, we got the price, yadda yadda.  "Wait a minute - you sold it YESTERDAY and are just telling me now??"  - he was apoplectic.  He was in sales - and lectured me - "When you sell something, you notify (me) IMMEDIATELY!"  Definitely some Goddammits in there.

 

He didn't talk to me for two months over that.  Not telling him tuesday night.

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i don't have an enjoyable relationship with my dad. he turns 89 in a couple of months, and he's getting closer to passing. when his time comes, it'll be hard on me that i don't have a ton of great stories of the two of us and the things we did. i envy those of you who have great relationships with your dad and all the great things the two of you have done. i'm trying to have that kind of relationship with my daughter.

 

Did your dad do the right things, and parent to the best of his abilities?  That's what counts.

Its nice that all these social media posting show every kid and parent as 'best friends' - but the kids can find best friends out their ass.  The mom and dad need to be there to do the right thing parenting.

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My dad was a pretty introverted guy when I was growing up. He was a big drinker, which helped with his social awkwardness, until he gave it up when I was 8. Mom gave him an ultimatum. He went on a 3-day bender, came back and never drink again. I don't know recall many "I love yous" but he was always there. Worked as a mason. Picked up side jobs on weekends. Very solid provider. Took us fishing, to Glamis, to the river, to baseball games. Made us do a shit ton of yard work. Wouldn't buy us candy bars when he stopped at the liquor store for a pack of smokes, but would come home after work with a couple brand new nintendo games.

 

He was an extreme exaggerator. He was the type of dude who would point to the sky at night and say "check that out. It's Jupiter." He didn't know if it were a planet or star, or which planet or which star. He'd make shit up about historical events. 

 

My dad got cancer in 2012. After the first treatment of his first round of chemo he got a terrible infection and was sedated for weeks. They told us he was going to die - if not from the infection, then from the cancer due to missing several months of chemo.

 

They successfully treated his infection, which was primarily in his brain. When he recovered he was a completely different person. The doctors had told us that herpes encephylitis (sp?) often caused personality changes - good or bad. For him they've been mostly good. He's extremely extroverted today. He will talk to anyone and will not shut up. The "I love yous" are frequent. He has become very sensitive and cries often, usually joyfully. He picked up chemo several months later once he was strong enough. With radiation, he's in remission. 

 

I've had two different dads and two different relationships with him. Kind of a trip. 

Edited by Adam
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My dad was a pretty introverted guy when I was growing up. He was a big drinker, which helped with his social awkwardness, until he gave it up when I was 8. Mom gave him an ultimatum. He went on a 3-day bender, came back and never drink again. I don't know recall many "I love yous" but he was always there. Worked as a mason. Picked up side jobs on weekends. Very solid provider. Took us fishing, to Glamis, to the river, to baseball games. Made us do a shit ton of yard work. Wouldn't buy us candy bars when he stopped at the liquor store for a pack of smokes, but would come home after work with a couple brand new nintendo games.

 

He was an extreme exaggerator. He was the type of dude who would point to the sky at night and say "check that out. It's Jupiter." He didn't know if it were a planet or star, or which planet or which star. He'd make shit up about historical events. 

 

My dad got cancer in 2012. After the first treatment of his first round of chemo he got a terrible infection and was sedated for weeks. They told us he was going to die - if not from the infection, then from the cancer due to missing several months of chemo.

 

They successfully treated his infection, which was primarily in his brain. When he recovered he was a completely different person. The doctors had told us that herpes encephylitis (sp?) often caused personality changes - good or bad. For him they've been mostly good. He's extremely extroverted today. He will talk to anyone and will not shut up. The "I love yous" are frequent. He has become very sensitive and cries often, usually joyfully. He picked up chemo several months later once he was strong enough. With radiation, he's in remission. 

 

I've had two different dads and two different relationships with him. Kind of a trip. 

 

That;s an insane story.

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I think men are socially handicapped in a lot of ways. 

 

We don't pick up on social cues well and we're just as terrible at conveying our true feelings to other people.  Seems to be worse, much worse, if you work in an all-male environment where weakness is never tolerated and always mocked.  The response to the guy acting out of line is to say "F that guy".  I see this all the time at the railroad, which is very militaristic. 

 

yk9001's dad sounds just like my grandfather, and to a lesser extent my dad.  I frequently worry about social behaviors I might have inherited from them. 

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It's been almost ten years since my dad died. He was 50 when I was born so he was always an old man in my eyes.

He was a WWII vet who went from Illinois farm boy to soldier to lawyer to running for Congress to judge to lawyer.

He moved my siblings out here in the sixties and found a new wife and had me, youngest of 8.

When he died we lived and worked together and I took over his cases after he got sick. He never met my wife, my daughter.

Don't have kids if you are that old. I was lucky he lasted until 81.

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My dad took me to a lot of Angels games as a kid. It was his place to go boozing without my mom telling him he was drinking too much.

In the days before seat cup holders, I would constantly kick over the largest coke under my chair. As a six, or seven year old, I could never understand why he could come completely unglued at me. "Why can't you sit still? How hard is it to sit and not spill a coke?" I never realized that the bottle of booze my dad would sneak in my pocket on the way in, would be in that cup. It's one small example of how he put the bottle or the cards/dice ahead of me.

I've had a lot of ups an downs with my dad. Our bond was the Angels. But he can disillusioned with baseball when the 90s strike happened, and I became disillusioned with him, when he ripped off my former in-laws.

While I still try to make sense of all of it, and try not to completely exclude him from his grandkids lives, it is still difficult.

I appreciate people sharing their stories here. My dad is 67 and he's not in good health. I've tried to look past all his crap to let my kids have the best time with them.

I'm fortunate that my maternal grandparents are still alive. They are huge Angels fans and they watch every night. They are 94 and 91. I want the same thing for my kids, to have that lengthy relationship with their grandparents.

Thanks for this thread. Like I said to Scott, I'm sorry for his, and others losses here. I know once they are gone they are gone.

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Did your dad do the right things, and parent to the best of his abilities?  That's what counts.

Its nice that all these social media posting show every kid and parent as 'best friends' - but the kids can find best friends out their ass.  The mom and dad need to be there to do the right thing parenting.

 

my dad did what he could. his own dad left when he was 3 so he never had a real father figure in his life. i don't fault him for that because he really never knew what a father should be like.

 

sadly, he didn't try hard enough to be a better dad than that. he was a pretty bad provider and was often without work because he couldn't get along with people. my mom forbid him to attend any of my little league games because he ended up embarrassing me all the time with things he'd yell out from the stands. he never had much of a filter, and it's been a problem all his life, even still today. he was absent a lot from home but couldn't hold a steady job; he was pretty sparse about child support because of it. 

 

i always thought he could have done better by being around more and not saying stupid things outloud all the time. he also had the gift of arguing with anyone anywhere over anything because he knew everything there was to know. it was tough to be around that as a kid, and it's not really any better now as an adult. i know he loves me and my family as well as he can.

Edited by Tank
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My father had a strong work ethic, he loved baseball, and he spent pretty much his entire life working around aviation. He spent almost his entire working life serving his country. I gained my love of both baseball and aircraft from him. He taught me how to throw and catch both a baseball and a football. He told me stories of the ballplayers he grew up idolizing.

 

Now for the underbelly. My father was an incurable miser, to the point of pathology. He considered almost everything a luxury. He hoarded things that had little or no value, and he had sentimental attachments to worthless objects. My mother became an alcoholic due largely to the stress of having to fight with him over every penny that was spent - and she was a Registered Nurse, so it isn't as if she wasn't contributing financially. She never learned how to drive and she was never allowed to handle any of the finances - a control tactic on my father's part, I have come to believe. She worked night shift for years, I believe because he worked day shift and it kept her from having to deal with him.

 

The only times we went on vacation, it was usually somewhere within less than a four hour drive of the house and normally only for a day or two. Often it was to visit his relatives in northern Georgia - because we could stay for free. Same thing when we went to visit my grandparents in Newfoundland, and somehow he always talked them into paying for the trip. We made one big trip that I recall, to Los Angeles and Las Vegas in 1975, right before I transferred to the University of Oklahoma (a move made largely because my father's controlling behavior was driving me nuts). He complained about the cost for at least five years afterward.

 

The last time I visited my father at home before he went to a long term care facility, the house was sweltering hot. He had an air conditioner (a window unit, because he was convinced that it was cheaper than central air). The power cord was draped over the top of the machine. It had been unplugged for so long that there was about an inch and a half of dust on the cord. This was in northern Florida, where the humidity runs 80-90 percent with temperatures in the mid-90s during the summer. Pictures on the wall were warped from the humidity. The floor still had the same indoor-outdoor carpet that he had installed in 1968 - which we had driven 350 miles to a carpet mill in Georgia to buy, because it saved us a few pennies per square foot. I managed to rescue my mother's nursing school graduation certificate from the 1940s, although it had already sustained some damage from the humidity. When I was growing up we had an attic fan to cool the house at night. My sheets would often be damp from the humidity in the morning.

 

The only new car that my father bought during my childhood was a 1966 Plymouth Fury III two door. I remember making several trips to the dealership with him. The dealership was about 60 miles away (in Green Cove Springs), because my father was convinced that the Jacksonville dealers were all thieves. He had a car specially ordered without a radio because he didn't want to pay for one. I can't imagine that an AM radio would have cost more than a few dollars on the 1966 Plymouth options list. Taking a car with the dreaded radio would have allowed him to buy off the lot, and he might have gotten a better deal. We probably burned up ten times the price of the radio in gas, even at 1966 prices, going back and forth to the dealership.

 

Gas was another thing that he was paranoid about. He always bought gas at the same place, "because when the gas runs out, they will only sell to their regular customers." He had a concealed carry permit and he carried his pistol everywhere. He got angry at my sister because she wanted him to leave it in the car while they went to Toys R Us with her children.

 

In 1966 I got some autographs before a Jacksonville Suns game (then the AAA farm club of the New York Mets). One was from a young Tom Seaver, before he made his first appearance in the majors. My autographs are completely unreadable now, because my father bought me a softball for autographs because it was cheaper than a baseball.

 

A friend who has known me since we were both children told me that my family lived "a self-imposed lower class lifestyle". Although my father was an excellent aircraft electrician and he was very meticulous about repairs at work, at home he went for the cheapest thing that would work, and his building projects often reeked of overkill. He broke the toilet tank by over-tightening a fixing bolt, so he replaced it with a plastic toilet because "by God, that's never going to happen again."  The kid who lived across the street from us, now retired from the Coast Guard, bought the house from the estate when my father passed away. He said that the plumber who replaced the toilet said that in 30 years in the business, he had never seen a plastic toilet before. We had a clothesline in the back yard because my father didn't want to pay for a dryer. When the new buyer pulled the support poles up, he found that they had about three feet of concrete around the base so that they wouldn't fall over. My father also filled the washing machine with a garden hose so that the water pump wouldn't run, and we wouldn't use any hot water.

 

After my mother passed away, he allowed the house to fall into such a state of disrepair that his homeowner's insurance company canceled his policy, telling him that they could no longer insure the house in the condition that it was in. He lied to them about making requested repairs, probably never thinking that they might send someone by later to verify his statement.

 

Read the defining characteristics for obsessive compulsive personality disorder, and you will have met my father. When I was growing up I knew that he was eccentric, but it wasn't until years later that I finally found out what the actual problem was. I am sure that he loved and cared about all of us, but he was far from demonstrative. His miserly behavior dominated everything.

Edited by Vegas Halo Fan
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What a GREAT thread, I have read every word written.

I have a great father. He is 68 and in good health. The son of Italian immigrants. Never cheated on my mom, never hurt her or his kids, worked his ass off, took us to church, etc. He worked a ton and wasn't around as much as some dads, but he gave us a good middle class life style as a result.

When I was 11, I was working with him in our family restaurant when we got robbed. He grabbed me, and when the robbers made us get to the ground, he laid on top of me (so he would take the bullet, not me). I am sure if that happened today, he would do the same thing.

When my mom was being harassed by a college professor at Golden West (she went back to school in her late 30s to become a nurse), my dad visited the guy during office hours. Told him if he didn't stop, my dad was going to throw him through the office window. The harassment stopped.

I have three kids and work my ass off for them and my wife. I am highly educated. I don't cheat, don't do drugs, don't have alcohol problems, and am well adapted. I owe much of that to my dad and the example he has been.

But my dad has one big demon. When he was in his early 20s, he got his girlfriend pregnant. He wasn't serious about the girl and wanted nothing to do with her. His way of dealing with the situation was to cut off all contact with the gal and, after she was born, his daughter. He has had nothing to do with this daughter, ever. To my other three sisters and myself, he has been an amazing father. But to my half-sister, he has been nothing. I worry about the guilt he is probably living with, however far under the surface. I hope some day he will reach out to her, but I don't expect that will happen, and I doubt she would reciprocate (which is understandable). This is one issue we DO NOT discuss in the house, ever.

By the way, that was my birds and bees talk. At age 24. "Be careful with your girlfriend. When I was about your age, I got my girlfriend pregnant. You have a sister out there you knew nothing about your whole life."

Edited by wopphil
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I'm not going to share my entire story but my dad passed away 10 years ago. He didn't have a will or a trust and had a live in girlfriend. Big legal mess that I didn't ask for being a only child. Please make sure your parents have a will or a trust it will see you a ton of headaches and legal fees. I enjoyed him as a dad but he left me with some hard decisions he could have made.

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I'm not going to share my entire story but my dad passed away 10 years ago. He didn't have a will or a trust and had a live in girlfriend. Big legal mess that I didn't ask for being a only child. Please make sure your parents have a will or a trust it will see you a ton of headaches and legal fees. I enjoyed him as a dad but he left me with some hard decisions he could have made.

 

Yeah.  "Probate" is worse than any four letter word out there.  I'm dealing with it right now for a deceased relative.

 

Even if your parents have a will and trust, make sure it is CURRENT.  In our case, the trust is almost worthless because it lists outdated accounts and property. 

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My father married relatively late in life. He was in his late 30s when I was born, which probably prevented him from doing a lot of the things with me that dads normally do with their sons. As soon as my parents married, he moved his mother in with them. They never got time alone as a couple, and my mother became her unpaid caregiver as her health deteriorated. I was 13 when she passed away. Years later my sister went to therapy sessions. Her counselor told her that with as much pathology as was present in our home, she seemed far too well adjusted, that there was a piece missing. She was asked if there was someone else around, a family member or a neighbor, perhaps, who she and I retreated to when things got bad. Then she remembered that we often sought out our grandmother, and an elderly woman who lived next door. They probably saved our sanity.

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My father worked two jobs when my younger sister and I were growing up. He did it so my mother could stay at home, but as a result I had very little relationship with my father when I was growing up. When my parents divorced, when I was teenager, that put a further wedge between us...I was 14 and starting to live my life. But what I will always remember is that he insisted my youngest sister, who was over 10 years younger than my other sister and I, spend every weekend with him. I respected that, he wasn't going to make the same mistake as he did with the two of us. And by mistake I don't meant he worked hard so we could have a better life, but the fact that he didn't have a relationship with us. I watch her with my sister, and his grandchildren, and I don't get jealous...but I also realize I won't have those same memories as they do.

 

As I grew older, and learned from his second wife, of his catting ways, we grew farther apart. When he was married the second time, I was his best man. He never told me, when I arrived at the ceremony he just assumed I knew and didn't seem to care that it bothered me.

 

Now he has found who he should be with and has been with her for over a decade...and while we aren't as close as I think either of us wish we would be...we are closer than we have been in the past. I think we both struggle because we are very similar. We are both introverts, stubborn, and always right. Small talk is torture.We don't argue...we say our piece and then retreat in to silence because we've said what we had to say and that's it...we are right and just accept it.

 

Story I will always remember...my father and his current wife are very very quiet, that whole side of the family is. You know that uncomfortable silence...my family can sit there at a dinner table for 15 minutes and not say anything...and nobody gives a shit. So I take my girlfriend at the time, Italian girl...to dinner...and I think it would be funny not to warn her. I watch her and she is getting visibly uncomfortable by the second...shifting in her seat. At some point she almost just starts babbling incoherently. We get in the car later and she is sobbing, thinking that my family hates her and it takes me days to convince her that that is completely normal. Years later I made sure I gave the woman who later became my wife a heads up...and she still thought it was the weirdest ****ing thing she ever witnessed. When we go over there she starts pouring drinks in everyone and it's actually livened the place up a bit.

Edited by red321
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