A few days ago, I picked up an old Sum 41 CD that I’d never heard from the library, ripped it and loaded it into the iPod. Since I was working late tonight, a few of those songs shuffled through and just as I expected, I really didn’t like alot of it, but there were a few decent ones that will stay in rotation the next time I delete stuff. There was one song in particular, though that grabbed my attention a bit more than the others. It was called Dear Father. It’s a song about an absentee father and it stopped me for a second. I kinda had a moment of “Oh yeah, I used to have one of those”, but not like the song explains. He wasn’t an absentee father, being that we lived with him, but I guess since he spent the majority of his time at the bar, he was a bit absentee. Anyway, that’s not really the point of this.
It was just sort of strange the way it hit me – as if it was some vague, surreal dream of something that almost applied to my life once upon a time. Even though the premise of the song didn’t really apply, just the fact that it reminded me of this long forgotten individual stopped my focus. It kind of made me happy the way this all played out in my head because it made me feel as if I’m in such a better place now and can be so happy with my life now, that the residue of this horrible man doesn’t even taint my daily thoughts anymore.
You see, I used to get so angry about so many things that I didn’t know about. I used to blame him for so many mistakes I would make because I never learned from him not to do them. A father is supposed to guide his children and teach them about life and how manage your way through it., but he didn’t. He abused us and got drunk and I held him accountable for it for many years.
But my life is so different and wonderful now that the darkness of him seems unreal. I wonder what he would think to know that I had a moment like this. A moment when his very own son stopped and realized how long I had forgotten that I even had a father. That he even exists. Who knows, maybe it would make him feel better to think that he is so distant from my mind that I barely remember what his face looked like when he would beat my mother and my sister. That I can’t even recall the lowest feelings I had when I would wonder why he wouldn’t leave them alone and just take it out on me instead. I wonder if he might come across this blog post and cry in solitude as he reads about how he will never meet my children or my wife and that my kids will never even hear his name enough to remember it.
Again, he might feel sanctified in a way, knowing that his atrocities have actually made me a better man. I have not and will not ever call my wife a bitch. I have not and will never beat her or my kids. I have learned how to be a man through trial and error and come out on top with good morals and anger control. So, if you are reading this, sleep well knowing that you actually did teach me things and you taught them well.
You taught me exactly what kind of man not to become. you taught me that focusing on negative memories is a waste of my time, so you have, in turn, taught me how to erase you from existence.
Maybe one day, I’ll happen past a grave stone and recognize a long forgotten name on it. If that happens, I will place my hands on the shoulders of my sons knowing that they are learning to be a man in a better way. I will know that I won’t be just a memory to them until I’m dead and that they will never forget me while I’m still alive.