My father is dead now. When he died he was nearly blind, frail and old and most off his teeth were gone. Now I’m 62, struggling financially to make ends meet even after getting my MFA in writing from the University of Pittsburgh in 2006.
In 1964 when I joined the army I was eighteen and bent on getting away from home even though I had a full grant to attend Point Park Junior College (two year schools where called junior colleges in those days and Point Park was a two year school). See, I wanted to get away from home because my father was a wife beater. By that time he hadn’t hit my mother in years. The beatings were only a memory to me, the memory of a young boy; but I did remember and the memories were vivid. I wanted out.
Now I look back and I still feel the anger and shame of having a father who was a wife beater. My mother is still living. Her grown children live all over the United States and they happily pay for round trip air fare for her to come and visit them and to stay as long as she likes. None of us would ever do that for my father if he was still alive.
I guess you reap what you sow.