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Readers Recall their Fathers

June 21, 2020

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Andrew M


Very Good question Henry and in a simple answer no!

My Dad was a product of his environment born in the USA in 1913 to Catholic parents from Naples. He was living at a time of world wars and constant economic depression. His parents had more in the Republic of Saint Peter then they had ever forged here. The cherry on the cake; after working for 23 years with the same company, he reported to work one morning and shockingly found that all the employees were locked out. And without a pension! In his 60's and failing health, he was never able to regain employment. A decade later he died at home of Cancer. My sister had to pay for his funeral I was in college. Through it all he maintained his honor, his sanity, and wished no bad fortune to no one.  He raised me to be a man and I never got the feeling that we were friends. It ran truer and deeper then that. Before he died I did let him known that if I could be half the man that he was then I would be happy and psychology fit.




Warren

I have nothing good to say about dad.  Nothing too bad to say either.  He is a complete lunatic idiot.  Never wanted me to become a man, always wanted to micro-manage and control every last detail of my life, every microsecond, probably because he never had a life, and mine was much much much better than his. Sucked all my energy - never gave me anything substantial to eat, I went to bed starving, bawling my brains out every freakin' day for the first 10 years.  I suppose after that after I stopped crying, I had no more emotion to give to the world. I've never bothered to speak to anybody, nobody has bothered to speak to me too.

That's it, man.  Who the hell lives like that? Me, that's who.  I have no idea what to do. I'm absolutely at a loss for what to do with my life.  My curse is my intelligence - I'm never going to be short of money, but I still haven't talked to anybody yet, and I'm 40 already.  My hair started going sheer white when I was just 15 from the stress, I believe I was suffering from the burnout that year.  The constant stress and constant bickering of both parents was more than one person can handle for more than a few minutes.  Imagine going through that hell for 10+ years.  After that, you shut parts of your brain down, the social part completely goes. In a way my dad is responsible for my anti-social brain.  But people just give you the most dumbfounded looks - they don't know if you're 80 or 18.  Do I still blame my dad for that? No, of course not, my relationship with the world is worse than my relationship with my dad.  I have no idea where that puts me... it puts me in the twilight zone. 

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WAN AIZAT BIN WAN HASHMI ---My father is a strong man and a helpful person. Whenever I am in trouble, my father is always there in helping me to beat the odds. I love my father to the heart because it is natural between a son and father. My father is everything for me. Without father as my guide, I will be a hopeless person in this world and hereafter. Even though my father cannot help me at all, his prayer for me is already enough for a sinful son like me. 

Thus, I would like to quote some stories about my father. Every day, my father wake up early and wash the clothes quickly without any delay. While I am sleeping, my father cleans the house without any hesitation. My father also did not hesitate to wake me up for breakfast. For my father, my stability is his first priority. If I feel sick, my father will not sit down and do nothing but try hard to seek money for my well being.

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Christiaan--I grew up with a bully in the house. The bully was my mother. I think a good description would be Tony's mom from the Sopranos. She was vehemently anti-male. But my dad loved her, and still does. He is a good man on the surface but his apathy when it came to my mother's tyranny was borderline criminal.

I have pondered this for years. How did she have so much power over him that he couldn't protect us, especially me who at 31 is still struggling with some major psychological problems from all the bullying? I still don't have an answer.

So our relationship is a shell, my dad was never a guide or a friend. We are friendly towards each other but it's very surface level. I'm not going to even make an effort to call him today. I truly feel that it's always been me reaching out to him.

I agree with Marcos that healing can only come with a true relationship with The Father. It is as simple as that. I don't need all the answers. Just to be accepted and loved.

Jesus said, "Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, 'I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God. John 20:17

Happy father's day dad, I forgive you. 

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Robert --

Hi Henry,  Wanted to respond to your 150-word essay.  Also, I'd like to pitch a bigger piece to you about my relationship with my son, which is nonexistent at this point.  He's 16 and we have no relationship whatsoever,  His mother attended the Pussy Hat march in DC after Trump was elected.  I have a lot to say on this matter.

But for now, I will give 150 words (a bit more).

A father's role with their son changes over time.  When the child is young, the father is like the newborn Sun.  His light is gentle and warm.  As the son gets older, the father's light changes and moves towards high noon, when it's at its highest and brightest intensity.  It is no longer the warm and gentle light.  It illuminates shadows and this is father's role at this stage of the son's life. It can be harsh with a bright intensity. Both the father and the son must grow accordingly and the friendship of their spring turns to a time of being productive, of work, structure and order.  For both it is essential. If not, both will be trapped in a cycle of perpetual youth and neither will be of any use to the world or society at large.

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Marco D

I suggest you read "What Is a Man? 3,000 Years of Wisdom on the Art of Manly Virtue." In this book, you will find thoughts about what a real man should be. Why should our kids be anything less than those great men in history? Why should they instead drool over BeyoncĂ© or Kim Kardashian and spend their days on Facebook? Even if your son is not successful moneywise, he should end up with a noble heart and a wise mind. 

We forget that in a kid, there are all possibilities opened to a human. At the same time, he is just a kid. Be too harsh, and you may raise a cruel perfectionist. Be too soft, and you end up with a confused and lost young man. There is a place for love and a place for instruction: both are needed.

I still dream often of my father, who passed away many years ago. I wondered many times why, and I think I know now. Fathers are more than real persons to us, they are symbols of our need for acceptance, of a longing for God, of instruction, a symbol of our search of a model for how we deal with life. Without fathers, we feel lost. Eventually, God Himself should fill this position. "

Ephesians 6:4 -
Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.





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Henry Makow received his Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of Toronto in 1982. He welcomes your comments at