When Mothers Make Up For Father Flaws
“It is not until much later, that children understand; their stories and all their accomplishments, sit atop the stories of their mothers and fathers, stones upon stones, beneath the water of their lives.”
― Paulo Coelho
June 1st is my Dad’s birthday. He’s 82. The above photo was taken a few days ago in Linden, Alberta, at the nursing home where he now lives.
My Dad has dementia, so his short term memory – and much of his long term memory – is pretty much shot. But there are plenty of lucid moments in which, when prompted, he’ll break into an old song or recite a poem…or even speak in Old English. His astounding vocabulary and eloquent manner of speech is still in tact, much to the delight of all of us.
My Dad was a brilliant man and had many excellent qualities. But he was a drinker and my parents divorced when I was 6. After that, I only saw him a couple of hours a week.
Thankfully, I had a Mom who more than made up for what my Dad couldn’t provide as a parent. I suspect I’m not alone.
But the older I get, the more I realize that all that my Dad was able to give me – including the lessons learned from his flaws – is paying off in spades.
If you’d like to read the blog I wrote about my Dad for Father’s Day last year, here’s the link: When the Engine Light is Red.
Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening and the playwright of Saviour. She is the CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and the Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. If you would like to receive Maryanne’s Weekly Words of Wisdom blog, please sign up here.
Next week’s Mothering Matters blog, I Went From Wanting Children to Living Happily Childless, is by Nina Steele, founder of nonparents.com. Nina writes candidly about her experience of not being able to conceive due to her husband’s infertility – and the tremendous cultural pressure they faced due to their African heritage.
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