… a little bit of this, that and a lot more

Of Fathers

There was a time when I hero-worshipped my dad. Like any “normal” daughter would. (No comments about my being “normal” please! lol)

One of my fondest memories was when he would pick me up, swing me in the air, or spin me around like an “aeroplane” we would call it – the feeling in my stomach and the knowledge that I was special to him, just lovely. And when he bounced me on his knee. Until I couldn’t fit on it anymore! lol

My brother (OB) wasn’t privy to the same amount of attention from Da as I was. I knew it then, but I couldn’t do anything about it. But then again, OB got all the attention from Mom, and me, well, guess what…I didn’t care, she was a mean old woman, and I hated her (at that point). 

At about the time I was 5, we were in an accident, not a serious one, but sitting in front, not wearing any seatbelts, I got off the worst – bruised leg, some glass shards in my arm…not too serious. Da ran to the doctor with me…poor OB was left in the back seat, mom had to take care of him coz he was ok. I was more important.

But then I went to school and things started changing. Dad was an absent father, he was more interested in his friends, socialising, soccer, cricket, tennis – whatever sports was being played, he was always on the team.
 
He was (and still is) a revered English teacher and loved his Shakespeare and the likes. Even ran a drama class at some stage. You cannot tell him anything about The Language (can you believe, he dubbed it THE LANGUAGE, bwhahahaaaa). No one spoke it, read it, understood it, knew it better than him. Oh no. Everyone literally bowed down before the lord and master of English and Eng Lit. They still do.

He cared about what people said. What was said in the newspapers about him, what was said wherever, whenever. His reputation and esteem in the community was important. So we couldn’t put a foot wrong, we had to behave and listen and be model children, want almal ken vir Mnr So&So, wat gaan die mense sê as ons skandes maak??!!. We took this job of “behaving” very seriously. We were almost perfect. Until much later of course ;).
 
Mom also never put a foot wrong in public, always the perfect Stepford Wife (in colour, OK?). Nevermind what was going on behind closed doors in this esteemed family. Blink kant bo, maar die onderkant stink so….

Going through school, I could never fly “incognito” because every blerrie teacher knew who my father (and my mother) was and of course, who I was. Because of Da’s great intelligence, everyone assumed I was just as intelligent with his penchant for THE LANGUAGE, literature and drama. I have never been anything of the sort – I could read, write and speak it. Not according to his exacting standards, enough to get by. Tried poetry. It was atrocious, so I aborted. Tried doing the drama thing – whoo, was that a bugger-up. I aborted that too. Thank goodness. I wouldn’t have been able to handle the pressure lol!

I tried being what he wanted me to be. Until I of course grew up and realised I must be my own person, whether he liked it or not. Okay, THAT only happened recently. 

Where once I admired the fact that my dad was popular and seemingly well-loved, I later realized that we were actually suffering for it. I started resenting him as he was never around for us. He never supported us in what we wanted to do, what we were good at. Broer and I were excellent swimmers. We were asked to join the local swimming team. He didn’t show any interest. We dropped from the team after a while

I tried ballet – which I also had to give up – once again due to shortage of funds and it was just too logistically difficult for them to get me to classes 3 days a week. Everything we tried – if it wasn’t any of the mainstream sports – there was just no interest.

Of course, his fall from grace in my books happened much sooner than with your avg daughter. I was about 9. I won’t go into the details. But it was instant. He went from hero to zero in one fell swoop. Unbelievably, once my eyes had opened to his fallibility, I kept on discovering more. By the time I was a teenager, I despised him. I think I even hated him.

We didn’t have much of a relationship. Lots of screaming, fights, beatings. That was what he did. There was no talking, just a snot klap or a fist when required. While OB was at home he could still prevent the beatings. Once he left, there was no one to protect me. Baby boet was too small to intervene. I was relieved to leave that house.

When my Mom died I blamed him. I accused him of killing her. Of wanting her dead. She wasn’t fitting into his life anymore. And he wanted her money. I believed it irrevocably damaged our relationship. I didn’t care. He meant nothing to me. He deserved what he was getting.

I only changed after the armed robbery. Life changes in an instant, you realise what’s important. Having a gun held against your head does that to you.

I went to him. I didn’t ask for forgiveness. I just hugged him. That’s all we needed. At some point, words are not needed anymore.

We get along better now. I love him with all my heart. I will do anything for him. He isn’t perfect. But who is? I am most certainly not. How can I hold whatever he did against him? He will atone for what he did / omitted to do, some day. I will not stand in judgment of him. I’ve forgiven him. I’ve moved on. OB cannot understand this. Baby sis has her own issues with him. They have to find their peace with him.

We spent the day together yesterday. I prepped all his favourite dishes because he asked. It nearly killed me while doing it, but seeing him enjoy it so much made me unbelievably happy.

I realised that he’s getting old. He’s not as spritely and as agile. He’s not as healthy anymore. Still razor-sharp, though! But we need to spend more time with him. We need to slow down a bit. Smell the roses. Build on the memories. Build on erasing all the negative ones.

We now have a standing arrangement for breakfast every second weekend. It’s a start.

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Comments on: "Of Fathers" (36)

  1. algoabay said:

    🙂

  2. Same shit different day said:

    Well done you *hugs* 🙂 xx

  3. Sundancer said:

    Hi Dizzy. Carrying a grudge and hatred is so draining so it is good that you have made peace.

  4. ezanne1 said:

    and so time slowly heals many wounds 🙂

  5. priscillaannef said:

    Powerful post Diz

  6. hutton said:

    You have grown! Well done 😉

  7. pinkpolkadot said:

    Nobody is perfect, Dizzy.. it is sad but it is true!! Some people love the spotlight and will do everything to keep it (like your Dad)… and it is so sorry that other people must suffer for this…!! But it is great that you have forgiven him, because it is sooooo bad to walk around with a grudge!! Good for you, it just shows what a wonderful person you are to be able to put the past behind you… and good luck to your bro and sis!!

  8. snowdon said:

    Good for you 🙂 Sorry to hear about your mum. Fx

  9. Colonialist said:

    That was imperfection in some ways that I find despicable. I do hope he comes to realise it. A daughter’s love is a gift straight from the gods, and any father who is not aware of that, or who abuses it, is greatly to be pitied.

  10. Killakat said:

    :-))

  11. Killakat said:

    At least it had a happy ending, right? xx

  12. Killakat said:

    That is so true, and my life before that was indeed marred by lots of unhappiness. Letting go is the best anyone can doxxx

  13. Killakat said:

    🙂

  14. Killakat said:

    Absolutely true. But you have to let go of all the bad firstxxx

  15. Killakat said:

    :-))

  16. Killakat said:

    :-))))

  17. Killakat said:

    Thanks for that, hun. We all have our choices to make, I decided to make the best one for me at the time. And it made a world of difference to me and my family. And I do hope OB comes to this understanding. With baby sis it’s a bit more complicated – another story on its own ;-)xxxx

  18. Killakat said:

    Thanks, hunny, it has been some time now, but it’s still toughxxx

  19. Killakat said:

    Catch ya later, alligator 😉

  20. Killakat said:

    Thanks Col, I don’t blame him anymore though. I still think he could do much better than he has, but he’s too obstinate & proud to ever admit he might be wrong. About anythingMWAH!

  21. Killakat said:

    LOL!! Now what the hell happened? Are you okay? It’s the voices again?

  22. Killakat said:

    Really, like who?

  23. Sylvia.Brouwer said:

    Forgiveness is the only answer to moving on with your life…pity we have to go through all the other stuff before we realise it…glad it is working out for you now….

  24. Killakat said:

    Sometimes it is difficult to forgive yourself, and you have to start there before you can forgive anyone else….Thanks for the visit

  25. Killakat said:

    Now who can resist that eyelash-thingie! Of course I’d miss you! ;)PS: just couldn’t resist! lol

  26. Killakat said:

    🙂

  27. Killakat said:

    Why?

  28. JournoJen said:

    What an insightful process! Parents are full of flaws. Everybody is…I think it’s part of growing up to realise your parents are only human 🙂

  29. isabel said:

    Wow what a post! You know what, I think deep down you father realises what he had done to you. But he is obvioulsy a proud man and so will never admit it out loud. So glad you went to him. Sometimes Mohammed just have to go to the mountain. Good luck with building up the relationship again Dizzy.

  30. isabel said:

    Oh and by the way. I too can feel the crunch! It’s no joke 😦

  31. Same shit different day said:

    Checking in 🙂 x

  32. kasper said:

    Nice post, Diz!Shooting mood today, are we?

  33. Killakat said:

    There’s just no excuse for abusive, absent parents though?

  34. Killakat said:

    You are spot on. Selective Alzheimer’s? 😉

  35. Killakat said:

    Ja, still. 😉

  36. Killakat said:

    😉

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