Tattered Past

Tattered Past: My ongoing journey through genealogy, history, writing, self-exploration and art. ~~~ Rita Ackerman

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Remember When: Fathers

"H. S. Wilburn, 1946, at work"

I just kind of ignore Father's Day. I don't have any concrete memories of
my father, Herman. The one flash I have that I think is a memory Mom always said is impossible but well, I don't agree. It doesn't really matter;
it's my memory.
Daddy was an abusive alcoholic and not around for many years. He was killed in a head-on collision in Oklahoma when I was eight or nine.
Daddy couldn't keep a job and never paid child support. At that time, alcoholism was met with jail time instead of help and understanding. Sad. Wish it was different but I can't change the past, only my view of it.
I know, that no matter what, Daddy loved us. My sister received his wallet after he died and in that wallet were small notepad papers I had drawn for him during one of his brief visits. I don't remember the visit but I'm guessing I was in first or second grade. It warms my heart to know that he kept those little drawings with him through the years.
I'm reading a book I found at a Goodwill, Writing Past Dark: Envy, Fear, Distraction, and Other Dilemmas in the Writer's Life by Bonnie Friedman. Although I have read many, many writing books and read or heard about many others this one hasn't been on my radar. I'm loving it.
The chapter I read today was basically about writing your memories and whether or not you should write memories that might hurt someone. She gets off into a couple of related subjects and I plan a series of blog posts about this book but for now I want to share a quote from the last paragraph.
Ms. Friedman is comparing Frankenstein's monster to our memories.
Good and bad.
"At the beginning of its life, Frankenstein's monster was actually a gentle, loving creature. It was the doctor's constant rejection that drove it savage with loneliness. Our monsters may turn to blessings if we regard them with kindness. They may have been blessings from the start, made goblins in the shadowy hallways of our minds."
This quote says what I wanted to say with this post. I want to make Father's Day a positive by finding and honoring the good things in my own father's life and his (non)relationship with me. Next year I want to enjoy the stories of other fathers and be able to add some of my own.
What monsters could you change in to blessings?