Seven years ago, my father died at 91 years old. I had the opportunity to be with him for about four weeks before he passed.
As he lay in his bed, getting weaker and weaker and having a dose of Alzheimer’s, he reminisced about a scene frequently. In it, he remembered his stepfather coming home, putting a penny on the table in front of him, and crying. He couldn’t feed his family.
My dad was probably about seven years old, which would have made it around 1932, a few years after the great depression. As he remembered the scene in 2017, it moved him to tears.
Obviously, that had been a pivotal moment for him, and as an adult and a therapist, I could see how it had informed his life.
My dad was a welder. He worked every day until he retired. He worked all the available overtime, and he worked weekends to get double pay. We didn’t have expensive family holidays, and we lived in a council house; our life was simple. But there was ALWAYS enough food and money to pay the rent and bills.
For much of my youth, I had focused on his shortcomings, on the lack of connection. As we prepared to say goodbye, I could see his achievements much more clearly. He had broken the cycle of extreme poverty in his family line. He had raised four caring, bright, protected children.
I wonder what cycle your father broke.
If you feel to, you are welcome to share here in celebration of Father’s Day.
Love to all, Jen