What I learned from my dad’s mistakes

Euri Giles | Clareifi

The Dad Special

What I learned from my dad’s mistakes.

When I think about the kind of father that I want to be, I can’t honestly say that I want to be just like my dad.

https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=2zmDaz_0YYW5YX500Image Credit — Jon Tyson — Unsplash

If you were to ask my kids, a “dad special” is a sandwich. It can be breakfast, lunch, or dinner, and the ingredients are never the same.

It is, however, delicious every time!

But this post isn’t about my cooking skills, its about dad skills.

I love being a dad!

I tell my kids that I have only one rule for them. I say to my sons, “be a good boy and grow up to be a good man!”

The same goes for my daughter, except I say “girl/woman.”

They would argue that telling them to wash the dishes or to go to bed already are rules, but everyone in my household knows that I’m not the enforcer anyway. My better half takes care of that.

Now that I think about it, I really don’t have any other rules besides be good, and grow up to be good. Huh?

I miss my dad.

When I think about the kind of father that I want to be, I can’t honestly say that I want to be just like my dad.

I admire that he was professional, articulate, and educated. He was witty and fun! Although, he never could tell a proper dad joke. Every time he would try to tell a joke, he would start laughing so hard right when he was about to get to the punchline!

I want to be a special Dad.

Not that my dad wasn’t special. He was, to me. It’s just that some of the things that I learned from him were the result of his mistakes. I learned more about what not to do, especially when it came to being a husband.

Mom had Skills!

She was always the provider.

The memories I have of my mom impacted me differently. I saw how hard she worked and what she sacrificed to send my sister and me to private school.

I didn’t realize at the time that when my dad was “out of town” for work, or when he moved to New York for two years to go to podiatry school that they were having problems.

I was just a kid.

I wouldn’t realize until later in life how my dad would always put his wants, and desires ahead of his family’s needs.

I would hear stories as a man about how he left my mom to fend for herself more than once.

She made it, and she’s still providing for him to this day!

Despite what I know now, I remember him as a good dad when he was there.

During my teenage years, he cheated on my mom. He moved out for a few months. She went through the process of getting the divorce papers written up. Mom was still working two jobs at the time. After work, she’d come home with a case of beer and relax, while my sister and I were getting ready or just leaving for the night to go out with our friends. She looked sad and lost.

I remember coming home from a night of drinking myself ( my friends and I would go across the border to Juarez Mexico, where the legal drinking age was 18). Mom was asleep at the kitchen table. When I woke her to get her to go lie down in her bed, she was crying.

She felt like a failure.

Why is this her life?!

Where did she go wrong?

I would listen, drink a few more beers with her and tell myself that whenever I got married, I wouldn’t put my wife through what she was going through.

My parents didn’t have the best relationship when I was a kid, and learning what I have about them in the past few years has been an emotional roller coaster.

Eventually, dad came back to her. The divorce papers never were filed. She says that she forgave him, and so should we.

They worked through their problems, and late in life seemed to be doing better than ever. They had finally formed a respectable bond. After retiring, they started doing things retired couples do and traveling to visit children and grandchildren. Visiting places together they had never been.

I miss them when they were young.

Things are different now. Mom only goes out for groceries and dad only goes out when he has a doctor’s appointment or there’s an emergency and he’s admitted to the hospital.

They live right down the street from me, but I miss them.

I talk to my mom multiple times per day, but because of the pandemic, the amount of time that I’m able to be comfortably around them has reduced drastically. Besides having Alzheimer’s, dad is also hard of hearing. That makes FaceTime or video calls pretty ineffective.

I forgave him.

He used to tell me that I’m a good man.

Our relationship grew. He ended up being the only man that I really ever felt comfortable talking to. I could be honest with him. I could tell him anything. No judgment. He would listen. He would look into my eyes, and tell me that everything would be ok, or that I would figure it out.

We didn’t just talk. We would do things together as men. We would play golf. We would listen to jazz and drink wine and play chess. We would talk about work. We would talk shit.

I miss him.

He’s still here, less than a mile away. I can see him, and let him know that I love him, but once again, Alzheimer’s will rob us from having a meaningful conversation.

I forgave him.

I learned from him.

I love him.

I’ll try to make every day special for him. My wife and kids make every day special for me.

He was a special dad to me.

Through the good and the bad, I learned from both of my parents.

I still miss them, even though they're still here.

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Euri Giles covers lifestyle content, politics, and news near you in Texas.

El Paso, TX

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