Words My Father Will Never Understand

Words My Father Will Never Understand

Adversity transformed me into a man, I love and miss you father.

Father, I can forgive you for hitting my mother. I can forgive you for hitting my grandmother. I can even forgive you more importantly for leaving me behind. Furthermore, I can forgive you for not being involved in my life.

My father was always moving around between both Greece and America. My mother and grandparents are the ones who raised me for the majority of my life. Without them, I have no idea where I would be right now. Possibly behind a dumpster or somewhere on the street. My father loved me or so has been said. You left me though at times to go back to Greece, for what reasons I do not understand. Even though my mother does not like to acknowledge that you left us. In truth, you did. My father hated America with every fiber of his being. He hated the "Land of Opportunity." I can not comprehend why you did though.

I have vague glimpses of being with you as a child. One late night it was close to Christmas time as snow began lightly sprinkling onto the ground. I was drinking a high glass of Eggnog. We had a big green tree in the living room with many beautiful ornaments. A town sat below the tree. I stared out the window thinking of you. You came into the house filled with presents for me. A plethora of gifts. My father embraced everyone who was there. You picked me up and I sat on your lap hugging you. I held you so tight, not wanting you to leave me. Of course, I looked up to your face as you had a great big smile on your face. I wish you would have been more like that person. Father, you were a hero to me then, but it was too bad you had to turn into the wicked guy, the villain. People change. Our society looks on the model of being a hero or a villain quite frequently.

My favorite hero of all time is Spider-man. I have hundreds of collections of the comic books. I have seen every single movie and some shows on television. The reason I love Spider-man so much is because his dad was not involved in his life that much and his grandparents raised him. It sounds very familiar to my situation. Peter Parker overcomes hardships and fights crime. He becomes a man. At times he misses his father, like me. Although, he also misses his uncle who dies a horrible death.

Father, I don't mean to criticize you harshly but you used people. The fact of the matter is that you were not a good person. You were a scam. You used my grandparents home as a place to stay for free and in return didn't contribute anything. Moreover, you did not do anything in your life but drink it away. When you did drink, you transformed into an animal. Someone nobody knew at all, unrecognizable. Instead of smashing bottles, you should have been working or better yet chasing an education. In reality, you could have done great things, you were an intelligent man who worked well. But you choose that other life. You chose to go down that other path.

Many times when I am at my grandparents home, I and my grandpa sit on the front steps of the house, just chatting away. Sitting down at the front steps with my grandpa, he would tell me of all the horrible things you did dad. It hurt to hear these numerous true claims. This was one of many talks I would have with my grandpa as we stare at the bare street. We look on having our world famous talks. As we look up at the airplanes that pass by and the clouds. My grandfather is a very wise man who has also taught me a vast amount about life. He worked very diligently in his life working at both motor vehicle and Shoprite. My grandpa also owned his own shoe store that I would visit many times. He is an embodiment that the American Dream still does exist. My grandfather raised a family in America, leaving Greece. Both of my grandparents worked hard and they raised me since I was a little boy. I owe them. My grandpa has taken the role of being my father in some ways. I look up to my grandfather.

The matter of the fact is you could have possibly made it in America. Particularly, you did not even try. You had a good job doing construction but after a couple of days quit for no apparent reason, never returning. Addiction is really a horrible thing and you were addicted to the temptation and tight embrace of the liquor. Anything you could get your hands on, it didn't matter what it was. Hiding the liquor would not help, you would always be able to find it. Even if you couldn't find it, you would walk out and buy a bottle. The bottles were more important than me and my mother it seems. Deep inside you could not control the beast, you could not control your temptations. I do not blame you though, you needed help severely and never obtained it. I still feel to this day that you should have gotten help. My father loved drinking bottles of whiskey down in one night. I'm sure it burned as it went down. I know many other people in this world are alcoholics sadly. Whoever has this issue should greatly receive help.

After you left me and my mother to go to Greece, something detrimental really occurred. Something out of the ordinary, something vicious and unrelenting. I was so young that I do not remember what went on and what my reaction was. My father had a deadly car accident. He was driving drunk and got hit by a police car. The police officer being drunk as well. There is still a mystery of what happened on that day. A lot of people did despise you and you did piss them off. Did the police officer hit you when you were down? Or did you get into a fight afterward? I will never get the answers to these questions, hopefully in the afterlife. The accident left my father a wreck and even worse paralyzed from the waist down. My father was not one who liked to wear a seat belt. He also was the one who liked to speed. Additionally, he was in a coma for about a year or so. But, you managed to wake up through it all. Through all the pain and suffering. My mom had told me you were a strong man. Although, you would use your strength for deadly purposes. Beating people up, striking people, letting your rage out.

I can see that rage in myself, but I am able to control it. As a rule, I never want to be like you ever in my life. Admittedly, I will look like you with my black hair and facial hair. But, I will never be like you and end up like you did. I refuse to throw my life away like you have already. I always thought to myself, why me? Why my father? Why does this happen to my family? I have realized though that other people have it even worse than me. Some don't even know their own father or have one. Some people live in foster homes, not having anyone. My heart goes out to these individuals. Long nights I stayed up thinking about the whole situation as I sat in my bed alone in the dark. I swept the covers and blankets over my head. God could have made this happen to protect me and my mother. God could have made this happen for me to be a better man and for me to be safe. He could have done it even so I could become strong. There are certain claims that bad things happen to good people because it is a test. The lower evil wants to see the greatest or strongest ones fall. Who knows what would have happened with you still around. He could have taken me away to Greece. Or even worse, hit my mother around some more or my grandparents. Or you could be spending all our money that we earn on your booze.

The one thing I didn't gain from you was your six feet tall height. What makes us different though is our heart and minds. Due to the condition you are in now, you will not be able to understand these words that I write.

I have gained many life lessons from you. That I will never leave my child behind like you have. I will never drink my life away like you did and get into mass amounts of trouble. With you out of my life, my grandparents raised me right and my mother. I went to church weekly and prayed and prayed. I stayed out of trouble and many have told me i'm a good kid. I have helped others. With you out of my life, I was able to prosper and grow. Father, I have become an amazing person.

There are a lot of things you have not seen though. With you out of my life, you have not seen the struggle and adversity I have had to go through without you. All that adversity made me strong and turned me into a man. From being bullied, not having money, to at times being very sad. At times I would have to sacrifice and give away money I was making to give to my mother to pay for rent. Giving money to get food and clothes. Giving money to have absolute necessary things. I looked at other people's fathers, wishing I had one. In reality though I have learned that I don't need a father.

Father, I have many ambitions and goals set for myself. I understand that hard work and dedication is needed to obtain success. Something you really had no idea about. I hope and I work towards raising my family up from nothing. I dream of making it big and having my name known by many. I dream of wearing a nice suit with a tie walking down wall street. All I want to do is buy my mother a house and a car. Buy my grandparents whatever they want. I want to help my own. Because of you, I have understood all of this.

I can remember a time about four years ago in my homeland of Greece. The place where I was born. I can remember a dreadful moment of seeing you for the first time. The first time I got to see you that I can remember, you confined to a wheelchair. This happened to you being only about twenty something years old. The accident robbed you of your youth and happiness. Now you are in your forties living a barren and wasted life. I saw the wrinkles on your face and the sad smirk on it. Ordinarily, I saw the many noticeable gray hairs that were on your hair, I got them too. I stare into your brown sad eyes. I went up to you not knowing what to say at all. But neither did you. My mother talks to Greek to you saying "This is your son, Andreas." For a while you can not make that clear connection. Your brain struggles for control. My mother speaks on "I'm your ex wife, Evangelia." He looks confused, perplexed, but when he heard my name, he smiled. I gave you a hug and walked away. It still pains me to have witnessed that exact moment. My father was alive and breathing. He was not the same person though, he was dead in a sense already. Your memory now a clean slate. You were a once strong man, and now you are a weak, hopeless nobody. It did not have to be that way though.

My mother really got the short end of the stick on this dilemma. My mother has been through a lot in her lifetime. I thank her and applaud her for raising me and it was very difficult at times. We have had plenty of disagreements, but in my heart you know that I love you dearly. I look up to you and you did a great job being both a mother and somewhat of a father. Mother, you have given me all that I have ever wanted. You worked very hard working nine to five jobs to help me and keep a roof over our heads. At times I yelled and got into fights with you. Even being selfish at times and I am sorry about that. Verbal arguments, but to tell you it wasn't your fault, it was mine. I apologize for that on my behalf. There were moments of tough times, but you did a good job. I can not ask any more from you. I am going to make it up to you and my grandparents in due time. I promise.

To my other father who was in my life for a little bit of time. You were never a father to me. You left me and my mother behind. Although, you failed. One day you will see my success and wish you didn't throw me away. Throw me away like a used toy that a kid does not want to play with anymore. You tried to break my spirit, but failed. It's okay though, over time you will come to regret your decisions.

I refuse to fail and I refuse to not try my best. I will make my dreams come true. I will accomplish my goals. It's alright though cause i'm doing everything now that you wish you would have done. I hope to see you again in my lifetime. I will be a better man than you ever would be. Hard work and dedication brought me here. I continue down this road; the road to greatness.

Father, you couldn't teach me how to ride a bike, but I learned. You didn't teach me how to shave, but I figured it out. You were absent to teach me how to be a man, but I learned. You were absent to teach me how to act, but I learned. Father, you have not seen me working at a restaurant till two am. You have not seen me working till three or four am doing homework and studying at college. I continue to be a humble man and I thank God every day for being healthy and living.

Who knows though father, we will see each other again possibly. Where we can have a full on conversation. I am not angry at you and I hope to see you again. Because of you, I have figured out my love of writing. Writing brings me ease and alleviates my pain. It brings me joy and stability. In my bright future, I will graduate from college with a degree in writing and journalism. Next, I will go to law school and become an attorney. In due time, everything heals. I cling to this because hope is a great thing to have. Through all of this, all the hardships, I have come to peace with myself. I have accepted what has happened and I am not mad. I cling to hope because it is needed in this cruel world. Hope is what has kept me going. Father, we will see each other again.

Over my whole life I have come to grip with the situation and have discovered countless revelations. Certain revelations I never have thought I would think and even find out about. There are a lot of things you don't know about me and there is an abundance of things you have missed in my lifetime. In this life I have shed blood, sweat, and tears. You weren't there to see me graduate high school as I walked down the runway. You weren't there to see me at my high school football games. You were not there to see me get through some of college. You even weren't there to see me accept rewards from my church and school. More importantly, you weren't around to see me struggle through adversity and help support myself and my mother. I regret nothing that has occurred, I embrace it. The truth is that I have realized I do not want you to ever be involved in my life. I am certain about one thing though, you would be proud to see the man I have become. A man like you, but not like you at the same time. This is from your son, who is not a little boy anymore, but a man.

Cover Image Credit: Facebook

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I Am 22 And Proud To Say I Am Still Close To My Parents

"But at the end of every day, I can still say that in my twenties I am just as close to her now as I was when I was a little girl."

When I got to college, I met a lot of people who barely call their parents. That was and still is, so weird to me.

I have friends who talk to them over the phone every now and again and only see them at the holidays. Here I am, age 22, a legal adult, and I'm just as close to my parents now as I was at age 10. I realize I am blessed to have not only two amazing parents but an amazing step-parent as well. Not everyone is as lucky as I have been with my family and I will never take it for granted.

Growing up I was always very close to my mom and I never imagined a time in my life where I wouldn’t be. Obviously, we have our moments the way every child and parent do. But at the end of every day, I can still say that in my twenties I am just as close to her now as I was when I was a little girl.

As you get older, you naturally want more independence but I came to realize that doesn’t mean I can’t still be close to my mom. I live on my own in an apartment, but I still call my mom almost every day to catch up. I find myself calling her to double check whether I wash lights on cold or hot, or to ask what ingredients I need to make her famous chili. Even though I can write my own checks and buy my own groceries, I still find myself needing (or more so wanting) my mom for some of the littlest things.

I know that no matter how bad I mess up, my mom will always be there to support me and she doesn’t allow me to lose sight of myself and my goals. It’s truly a blessing to a have an adult relationship with my mom.

While my mom has never been a question as far as if we would stay close as I age, my dad was another story. He and my sister always had a special bond growing up which worked out because I had that bond with my mom. When I was 9, my dad was diagnosed with Synovial Sarcoma cancer. It was then that I realized how important it was to create a closer relationship with my dad also. I was blessed to have that too in the last few years of his life.

I wish I had the chance to be close to him as an adult, but I am happy that I was able to grow closer to him. I realized how special it is to be close to your parents. It was something I didn’t expect would impact me the way it did. I learned so much from him about humor, perseverance, courage, and truly living in the moment.

Aside from my two amazing parents, I have been blessed with the best stepdad. My mom and dad were divorced several years before my dad passed. My stepdad has been in my life since I was 12 years old. He has helped raised me and I am just as close to him as I am my mom and was to my dad. It is such a blessing to know I can call my stepdad just as quickly as I can call my mom. There are days where I just want to call them to say "hey" and some weekends I drive back from school to share a meal and enjoy their company.

The truth of the matter is, your parents teach you so much. My mom and dad were 35 when they adopted me, so they lived so much life when I was born. My mom has so much knowledge of life that I always call her for advice because she knows just what to say.

I realize how special it is to be an "adult" living my own life but still being so close to my parents. I know that when I get even older and start to have my own family, my parents will still be a huge part of my life and my family's lives.

I am so grateful for being raised but the strongest and most encouraging people I know. I am forever thankful for you and all you do, and I am proud to say that regardless of growing up, we don't grow apart.

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6 Things My Mom Did For Me, That Make Me Excited To Do The Same For My Kids

Mothers, what would we do without them?

Honestly, if you think about it, having a mom is one of the coolest things about existence. We are literally made inside of this beautiful and strong woman and get to be best friends with her for the rest of our lives. They'll love us and support us every single day to the end; even when it's a difficult situation. There are so many phrases my mom used when I was growing up and lessons she drilled into my head that I can't wait to use on my little one.

1. 'You Are My Sunshine'.

It's so odd, the memories that stick with us from our childhood. You rarely can remember an entire day from your childhood, but it's often that we can remember little snippets as young toddlers. The moments of time that have been ingrained into my long-term memory are moments that I wouldn't trade for anything in the world. I remember when I was so, so young my mom would be bathing me and singing over and over the song that goes: "You are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me happy when skies are gray..." This jingle is something that I already see myself singing to my children while I give them baths and get them ready for bed.

2. "Money doesn't grow on trees."

Since day one, man, have I been a spender. The physical act of buying something – gum or even mints – is something I am here for. You can hand me a twenty and it'll be gone by the end of the day; I don't even have to leave the house to do so. It's a habit that I, unfortunately, have not handled all too well, but I'm just hoping this trait doesn't get passed down for the financial sake of my future family. My mom relentlessly tried to get me to understand the importance of budgeting and spending money when I got my first job, and I'm so thankful she never handed me my own credit card.

3. "Take deep breaths; it's going to work out."

Cliche, yes. But does it work? Yes, every single time. I guarantee you've met that handful of people that have 'just breathe' written in cursive somewhere on their bodies. It's repetitive and pretty corny, but there isn't anything that is as calming as your mom when you need her. In times of panic or distress, I literally revert back to my three-year-old self, and it's truly embarrassing how many times I can repeat to myself "I want my mommy" over in my head. But, it's true. For some reason, your mom just telling you to breathe in and reminding you that all is truly well flips off the panic button in my mind.

4. Homemade food is better than store-bought – always.

You wanted cookies in my house growing up? Make them. That's the only way that sweets were usually enjoyed in my home; from scratch. Cinnamon bread, snicker-doodles, chocolate chip cookies, cakes, holiday treats, and 3-course meals were never to be bought in the store.

5. No, you cannot eat Cosmic Brownies.

Twinkies, Pop-Tarts, Cosmic Brownies, Fruit Roll-Up's, Smucker's Uncrustables – these were the ultimate luxury for me. Going over to a friend's house almost always meant that finally, I could enjoy 'normal kid' food. As much as I thought my mom was holding out the best things in life on me back then, I praise her for it now. Thanks to her, I know what real sweets actually taste like that aren't 99% chemicals.

6. Things mean more when you earn them.

My mom spoiled my two sisters and I growing up – and often at that. The thing is, she balanced the spoiling and the earning aspect of things. She showed me what it was like to work for something, and earn it on my own. Getting handed things all the time only gets you so far.

Ultimately, I look up to my mom, not only for being a woman that has raised me but for all the things she showed me I'm capable of. 'Thankful' is only a minute fraction of how blessed I am for you (oh, you too dad) and I can't wait to return the favor for my future family one day.

Cover Image Credit: Tanja Heffner

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