In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Honorific.”
He was not the best dad, far from it. Sometimes maybe even often he could be frightening. He had no idea how to be a good dad, he knew not what that looked like primarily because no one had shown him. His own dad, whom I never met was apparently a mean man. How comforting to know meaness runs in the family. Nevertheless, we do not pick and choose who we love. I loved my father… I could give you a list of reasons, but they matter not. Some people we cannot help but love. No matter what my father attempted to project, I saw his vulnerability, his goodness, his sadness, and his deep concern for his family. He worked very hard in order to provide, and he had a very grounded sense of our needs. His divine gift was intelligence.
He suffered greatly in his life, in the end his dreams of a family life were shattered. My parents were not right for each other, and my father would have done well with a woman who was as devoted as he was to family, but my mother was not that person. She had a thirst for power and her favorite tactic seemed to be divide and conquer. I know it sounds very unkind, but the years have illustrated her track record. Our family has been scattered to the winds and one seems to be pitted against the other. There are no Holiday gatherings, no Thanks givings, and I may visit with my children, but have become somewhat of a nomad.
I have no idea what it might feel like to be part of a family that actually wants to gather together during festive times. Please do not take this as a complaint, in one respect it is the perfect life for me as I am quite non traditional, and am satisfied with the way things are. Freedom is a great commodity and I value it greatly. A binding family comes with it’s shackles, and this to may sound a bit harsh as so much focus is placed on family and family relations. One size does not fit all in this case.
My father was a family man and came from a very large family which he left in eastern Europe when he immigrated to Canada after the war. He had a very strong sense of belonging, a true blue Ukrainian who missed the black soil of his home land, his family, his language and his traditions. He was the only one that worked very hard to keep the old traditions alive in our household, but after my parents divorced, we never spoke the language and all the customs vanished. I remember the fun we had at new years when we sat at the 12 course meal and my father would take a tablespoon of the kasha, a buckwheat dessert made with honey and toss it up to the ceiling… we would all wait with baited breath to see if it would remain there. If the pudding stuck to the ceiling we would have a good year, if it fell, well not so good. Then, my father would open the back door to let the old year out and the front door to let the new year in.
He was the core of our family, unlike most families that center around the woman. My mother was not a very domestic type. Anyways, I have gotten a bit off track, but I would be happy to commemorate my father.. and I might have mentioned in a precious blog, that he was also a war hero as he saved the life of a friend who was shot and my father carried him to safety through an ambush. During the early years while my parents were still together, we would often visit this friend and he would never miss the opportunity to convey the details of how his life was saved. I am sure that Chano would also agree to the commemoration as would others who championed my dad.