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This is a question Dad stories

"Do anything good for your birthday?" one of your friendly B3TA moderator team asked in one of those father/son phone calls that last two minutes. "Yep," he said, "Your mum." Tell us about dads, lack of dad and being a dad.

Suggested by bROKEN aRROW

(, Thu 25 Nov 2010, 11:50)
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My dad was born to barely literate parents in the basement of a Chicago apartment building in 1927. For the first six months of his life I he was a fine, healthy baby, but after that it went quickly downhill.

He contracted polio.

As a result, he has never walked without pain or a pronounced limp. As a second result, his father rejected him out of ignorance, fear, and god knows what other character flaws. To say dad had a hard childhood is a colossal understatement. His father was merciless, and when a younger brother was born it was as though dad evaporated.

He became a teacher and put up with his parents' assinine statements like "since those who can't do, teach, that's perfect for him" and worse. He wound up specializing in teaching students in bad situations--criminal records, badly broken homes, behvioral or physical problems--and quite literally saved a few lives. To this day he still gets letters from his students thanking him for what he did.

On his first teaching assignment in 1951 he went running (such as it was) to tend to an injured kid. With his unsteady gait he planted his good leg wrong and proceeded to destroy his good knee, bending it completely backward. He narrowly avoided amputation (orthopaedic surgery was not so precise in those days) but was now very much crippled for life. Nine surgeries later they gave up and simply fused his knee joint--it doesn't bend anywhere between his hip and his ankle.

Still...he never gave up. He couldn't run, but he had a cannon for a pitching arm and could hit the ball out of the park with ease. And even though he couldn't play (American) football, he loved the game so much that he would go on to coach it, referee it, and when he could no longer do that, he became the broadcast voice of the local high school team on the radio.

He married the girl he met in high school and had four kids with her, putting all of us through college on a teacher's salary. He and my mom took in more than a couple of strays, mostly students of his who were really on the edge. Some stayed a few weeks, others for years, and they even took custody of one to keep her out of jail. She went on to become a university professor.

He has been retired for almost 25 years, and his health has steadily gotten worse. Three months ago he fell in the middle of the night, resulting in a trip to the hospital, a surgical intervention, and a lengthy rehab--as of this writing, he's still not home yet but should be released any day. I saw him last weekend and he looks better than he has in years. I asked his rehab nurse how he was doing.

"You know," she said, "I have never worked with a patient who is more determined than he is. He keeps trying until he is exhausted. He never gives up."

I told my dad this, and he looked at me for a minute before his eyes got misty. "I can't give up. Trying is the only think I know. If I did quit, I'm not sure what would happen."

Invictus. Unconquerable. Unbowed. Unafraid. That's my dad. Though he never scaled a mountain or ascended the heights of society or business, he showed us what really counts--no matter the obstacle, never give up. Never.

So, Dad, here is your favorite poem.

There once was a man from Bombay
Who fashioned a cunt out of clay
But the heat from his prick
Turned the damn thing to brick
And it ripped all his foreskin away
(, Tue 30 Nov 2010, 17:21, 10 replies)
he sounds awesome
hope he gets better and is back home soon
(, Tue 30 Nov 2010, 17:26, closed)
You brought a tear to my eye and then made me howl with laughter.

(, Tue 30 Nov 2010, 17:50, closed)
Mission accomplished
This is b3ta, after all.

His favorite poem is in fact Invictus by Wm. Henley--but what's the fun in that?

(, Tue 30 Nov 2010, 21:37, closed)
I think that is massively appropriate.
I can see why he likes it.

Your dad sounds like quite a guy.
(, Wed 1 Dec 2010, 10:30, closed)
I like
Your Dad.


Get well Soon grundigsnr
(, Tue 30 Nov 2010, 17:59, closed)
your dad sounds like one hell of a man
best wishes to him for a speedy recovery
(, Tue 30 Nov 2010, 18:47, closed)
Hope your Dad is home soon.
Sometimes the best people are the humblest. Thank God for humble people. You have a wonderful Dad.
(, Tue 30 Nov 2010, 20:30, closed)
I agree with all of the above.
Give the old sod a manly cuddle .
(, Tue 30 Nov 2010, 20:39, closed)

I want to buy your Dad a beer.

I'm in Colorado. 24 hours notice enough?
(, Wed 1 Dec 2010, 0:07, closed)
Maybe not beer...hot chocolate perhaps? He's a near-teetotaler...
but I did get him drunk for the first and only time when he was 69 years old. His dad had just died, and we were sitting in the guy's house talking about...everything. I kept pouring him Wild Turkey and Sprite until he realized that he was slurring his words. Then the conversation got *really* good. He let me into places of his mind that I don't think my mom even knew of. Quite the eye-opening event.

He is a pretty amazing fella--thanks for all your kind words. I'm just glad we both lived long enough to get past the usual dad/son friction. I still don't think he "gets" me--we're 40 years apart fercrissakes, so it's no real surprise--but I know I'm lucky he's my dad.
(, Wed 1 Dec 2010, 3:10, closed)

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