My Father

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: January 21, 2016

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Submitted: January 21, 2016

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I remember my father when I was young, he was always afraid of being wrong and never liked being incorrect, despite the tremendous amount of evidence against him. At first when I was put in the situation, I would argue with my father to seemingly no end—but eventually, my father would claim “I’m tired of this meaningless fighting—I’m right and you know it—but for now, you’ve won.” I didn’t believe him though—I had won nothing. A thought crossed my mind, however, that maybe he ‘gave up fighting’ because in truth, he knew he was wrong, but found himself incapable of admitting it.

My mother, on the other hand, was afraid to be right. She had been married to my father nine years before I was born—there was one fight between my father and I and when my mother had come to comfort me and sort things out, I asked her in cruel manner ‘how could you fall in love with a man like him?’ I was fourteen at the time, almost old enough to be taken seriously. My mother enclosed me with her arms—a gesture that at fourteen, I tried convincing myself was inappropriate for a guy my age—but there was sudden release of emotion whenever she did it. I didn’t mean the things I said about father, but I did wonder. She said, “Your father loves you, but sometimes he can be confused.”

I almost had an aunt, Mother had said, but there were difficulties during childbirth. My father’s younger sister had a deformed lung and couldn’t breath without heavy machinery. With a heavy mind, the family had argued back and forth—with the result being that my aunt—Mary, originally to be named—would have her life support unplugged.

When I was four years old, Mother said, my father had begun to act oddly and his decisions grew into irrational ones later on. But my mother, having suspecting suspected a disease, refused to dig any deeper into her suspicions and simply knocked his behaviors off as a “sign of getting old”.

I certainly had my moments with father—moments of him and I bonding, like that time at the Fishing Creek when I was six. I hadn’t thought about it before, but when that day comes to mind, I realize that my father seemed rather lost in expression.

A few years before his death, he became notably worse. He’d forget who he was and the conversations he’d have with mom. He didn’t even recognize his own grandson—just couldn’t seem to keep his face and identity in his mind.

He did, however, remember me whenever I spoke. The boy-turned-to-man that he always argued with—I guess I should’ve been flattered that my dad could remember me. Whenever I’d see him, there was that look of recognition in his eyes—but whenever he saw my son, “who’s this little guy?”—luckily Tye wasn’t old enough to understand and made the assumption that his grandpapa was only kidding him. But he truly couldn’t remember who Tye was.

One day, my dad had a stroke and on the bed, I could see him. He looked me in he eye and told me, “don’t tell your mother, son, I don’t—“he stopped to catch his breath, “I don’t want her to worry.” Mom had passed away several years before. “I just tripped is all,” he said, “I’ll be out of here in no time.” He gave me that game-winning smile he always had on a good day. Within a day, he had passed on.

As I sat on the swing from my house when I was a child, I felt a nice lovely breeze brush gently across my head through my air. I could picture my dad standing in front of me—“feels like a storm is coming”—he’d say. But as I opened my eyes, I remembered he was gone. 


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