I couldn’t sleep last nite. I Kept trying to think of every thing I could rember about my Dad. It was temporarily interupted when I noticed the sun was coming up. I guess no sleep for me today.
One memory did stick out. It was a private moment that I think really made a difference in my Dad’s life. First let me say that he was an alcoholic. When we were allowed to visit my parents we had to make shure my Dad was either not home or not drunk before we were allowed to stay for the day. One visit he came home after we were dropped off. None of us knew he was home. I noticed him on the back steps crying. I debated wether I should go out to see what was wrong. I could not just walk away, so I went outside. I asked "why are you criying" He said "because none of my kids love me". I was shocked to hear this. How could he think that. I thought for a second or two and told him " dad, your two people to us, the drunk Dad & our real Dad. we do hate the drunk one but we love with all our hearts, our real Dad". He looked at me and it seemed like a light went on in his head. I wanted to chang the subject so I asked if he’d eaten recently.He said he was hungry & didn’t eat for a few days. I flet very sad for him so I asked him to come on inside & dry his eyes so my bro & sis would’t see he was crying. I aske him If he wanted some tomato soup & three or four grilled cheeses. I told him it would be the first time I was able to cook for him. That made him laugh a bit. He ate and was alright.
That was in 81/82. I only knew of him getting drunk 1 time since then. He stopped drinking, smoking, cursing and such. Then to my surprise he got involved with a Spanish Penticostal church. I actually helped him work on one of the building he help to renovate for his new Church. He worked his way up to become assistant Pastor often giving the surmons. When he died in 97, he vieing was at his church. They wanted to help our family pay some of his final expences so they put a donation box out. It quickly became so full we had to get a bigger box. I could’nt believe people could be so giving. They were not wealthy but when my family added up the cash & chechs it totaled over $2,200. Not one single check bounced. That was truly amazing.
I don’t know if the conversation on the back step that night convinced him to make the change. I am shure his life change brought much happiness into many peoples lives at his church and at the local hospitals where he would take the Church to those unable to go to it. Most of all it proved to me and my family that no matter how far down in the hole someone can be there is always a way out. In my Dads case, out and then some.
To my Dad: "We still and will always love you"