MAY 29: considering a memorial
My father was a Vietnam Veternan. I'm not sure how much active duty he did because we've never discussed his time in the military. We don't have a relationship like that.
I think about it occassionally. And especially since today is Memorial day and it's the day we've set aside to begin to honor those men and women who've given up their lives for the betterment and protection of this country.
All I know is that he spent time in the Phillippines. That would have been an interesting angle to write my 7th grade social studies report from. I had to pick a country to write about. At that time my choosing method for report topics was to run my finger up and down my encycolopedias and have someone shout stop. Funny how much of my life choices are still made that way.
It landed on P, I opened the book to the Phillippines. Do you think it may have been divine intervention?
I believe he was in the Navy, which is why he got stationed in the seas. I may have a false memory of seeing a picture of one of the ships he was on. I know that there's something that my grandmother [his mother] showed me when I was younger. Some kind of photograph of him. But I could be wrong and simply making up fantasy memories of him. I've been known to do that before.
My play-play father also spent time serving in Vietnam. I do/did have a picture of him in his uniform holding me. That was one of the pictures that i cherished as a child. I wanted a family so bad that I ached to have this man call me his son. I even adopted his family and called his mother grandma. He and my mom dated for a long time...henceforth the picture from my childhood [one of the few that we have actually].
They made a go of it during the 80s to try and start a real family. Unfortunately, his coke and heroin habit kept him from being the man I truly thought that he was.
And wanted him to be.
He ended up stealing money, and typewriter and my mom's heart before melting away into the folds of obscurity that is drug addiction. I haven't heard from him since that time.
I'm sure I don't want to.
My father, grandmother and great uncle recently visited me. Normally this is a very stilted kind of reunion. They know so little about me, about my life, my fears and what I want to do. I haven't come out to anyone in my family because I know that it would destroy my grandmother. She's more than said so. In fact when talking to her about my highschoolnemisis[tm] who was recently convicted of sexual misconduct with a minor. She emphasized the fact that it was a young man that had brought the case before the courts, whereas the real issue was the fact that it was with several of his students.
"You're okay that it was with another man?"
My father was my father that day. Though I can tell with each visit he's trying to reach out to me more and more. Unfortunately, at the moment, I am completely beyond caring what he wants. I'll keep holding my affection from him as he did all those years I had to live my life as a bastard. Only cursorily knowing what that word meant.
All I want is money from him now it seems. I was deeply disappointed when none was proffered this visit. I know that sounds shallow, but when a relationship is built around the mighty dollar, you come to expect it. And that's what he was to me for most of my life. An occassional buck or two.
Well he did leave me with the fact that he has been diagnosed with hepatitus C now. So that is another thing that I have to add to my ailment list. He's had it for 20 years so it's not fatal as of yet. He's given up drinking which is just going to make him more perfect. ahhh.
He said that he's going to be fine. I'm sure that he will be. He has to be. He is my father.
Happy Memorial Day Vernon, thank you for my freedom.
Good luck, Ray. I hope that your life turned out better than it was then.
I'm extra-ordinary, I need to do extraordinary things.
as old as that quote is...it's still so so true.