Post details: BlogTalkers: Dad...


Permalink 03:59:15 pm, by Email , 1033 words   English (CA)
Categories: BlogTalkers

BlogTalkers: Dad...


This week's question/request...

Where did your father go to work every day and what did he do? How did his job affect your family?

My father past away when I was seventeen. He was fifty.

He died of a heart attack combined (contributing to) pulmonary aspiration.

I wish to start this with a simple truth... I did love my dad... and have a few, precious fond memories of him... but he was rarely about.

My father was an ambitious insurance executive who did very well for himself and his family... if it did take him from home fairly often.

It was a double-edged sword... as he really lived to work, not worked to live. His long hours and frequent absences took a hard toll on the family as a whole... but if not for his efforts, life would not have been so good to us... sorta.

As I said, he was a great provider, he was well liked with his friends and honoured by his business associates... but missed by his family.

The two memories that stick out in my mind the most were practising ball hockey with him on the driveway in the Summer... and the time when he was fired.

Now, normally, firing is a terrible thing... unless you're a much-sought-after and experienced executive... in which case, your severance is huge, your prospects bright, and everything is (for the short term) coming up roses.

Dad came home that day and said, "Guess what? I got fired!" He was in super-high spirits because he really was not happy at the firm he had went to... and as stated, his "golden parachute" was very nice.

So, we did what most families did when Dad is let go from work... we immediately took a week-long family vacation to Florida.

When we came back, within two weeks, he was working as the president for a new firm.

Now, these are great memories... but these (for me) are the only two vivid ones...

His work, more than many things, led to the almost-breaking-up of his marriage and I know it contributed greatly to his early death.

His early demise robbed me of my father who was shortly to retire... it robbed me of someone to ask for guidance once I became an adult... it robbed me of the chance to TRY and build more memories... and in the long run, it made my mother (and I) so miserable, it robbed me of the chance to live at home, finish school properly, and realise my old dreams and, eventually, have a better life.

Now, I can't blame his job for this... it's about a 5% factor in my fate... I'm 85% to blame with some "bad choices" as a teen (not truly "criminal", but definitely lazy and fairly self-destructive)... granted, I was also more than willing to reform my ways very early on... and did... but it was a much harder road than it had to be... and in some ways, is.

I lamented his passing VERY much while I was unemployed... as an executive, he would have been a great-ear to discuss my problems and ask for ideas to... but that ear was removed from my arsenal of personal help by his death.

His job, no doubt, played about a 70% part in his demise... stress, aggravation, and a brutal industry to work in. Rotten kids, I admit, probably was another 20% factor.

...but if not for his family, would he have pushed as much as he did? This is the question I have for him... and if he was around, I'd ask if he could do anything different, what would it be?

I can't ask that though... there's no one to answer me.

My father's work enabled me to have a rather extravagant childhood... I grew up in a well-to-do neighbourhood, had to fight to stay in public school (my parents pushed hard for me to attend private school,) had "toys" that blew the minds of my friends, never went hungry, never went without... I was a "want" kid... not a "need" kid.

We belonged to the best clubs... went to fine restaurants... had the option of dressing extremely well (though all of us chose comfort or personal style)... had a family islands, not just a cottage... drove in fine cars... the world, for us, was our oyster...

For dad, this world ended up costing him dearly... not just in terms of money, but...

I don't hold the insurance industry culpable for his death... it was, as stated, one factor... and he chose to push himself.

...but I would have happily traded the boats, the cars, the clubs, the vacations... to be able to say "Happy Fathers Day" to someone today as more than just a greeting.

Twenty-three years and there are still tears.

So, it was a double-edged sword... my fathers work provided an affluent lifestyle and allowed me to travel early on as a kid... but it was also a large and mitigating factor in his early death which led to me living a very hard and hardscrabble adult life.


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Comment from: Rob [Visitor] Email ·
Great response - really enjoyed reading it. After my Mother died recently I was surprised to see how few photos we have of her. My parents always used to take pictures of us, the children, as we grew and not so many of ourselves. Like you, I'm taking something from this and despite hating my photo being taken, I'm making sure there are plenty of both my Wife and I.
PermalinkPermalink 06/19/07 @ 07:00
Comment from: alastair [Visitor] Email ·
Great post, very different to my own memories of my father in lots of ways. Thank you for your poignant and thoughtful words.
PermalinkPermalink 06/19/07 @ 07:37
Comment from: admin [Member] Email ·
Hey Rob... My youngest knows me much better than I knew my dad... and yeah, it's intentional. :)

Hi alastair... I'll be by tonight to have a read... always appreciate other people takes on things and how it shapes/shaped them... Thanks for commenting.
PermalinkPermalink 06/19/07 @ 13:29



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