Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Friday, November 09, 2018

Requiescat in pace

I've written a little about the estrangement between my father and myself in this blog over the years.  The photo below is a photo of my family, one of only a couple of photos of my mom, dad, and me together. We really were three individual people with no real cohesiveness as a family, except at dinnertime, which we spent together. My mom had ceramics as a hobby, my dad had his radio room, and I read a lot, escaping into fantasy. My first six years of life my dad was mostly in southeast Asia during the Vietnam War. At 15, my parents divorced and my mom and I moved back to Danville and I withdrew further into myself. I tried to keep a relationship with my dad for a while, but there wasn't much of a foundation to build on and a lot of negativity to overcome. Finally, 25 years ago, when I was 26, we broke off contact with each other entirely and went our separate ways. I changed my name. The years passed. I got a better perspective of just how dysfunctional my family was, but also how it probably was from my parents' perspectives. With age comes wisdom. I used to be angry with my father and later realised that some of that anger should have been directed elsewhere. I haven't been angry in a while. We just never were going to be the family I wanted us to be. I accepted it. My mother's death last year brought some closure regarding that. We had talked out some of it. And the rest didn't so much matter anymore with her gone.
The other day I found out my dad was in hospice. He died last night, peacefully. I don't really know how I feel. I'm kind of la-la-la-ing in my head. I wish we could have had a better relationship. We couldn't. Just because you're related by blood doesn't automatically make people love you.
Anyway, for what is worth, I wish you peace, Daddy. I'm sorry we couldn't make it as a family. Rest in peace, Allan Joseph Broadbent, August 19, 1947-November 8, 2018.

It's hard to believe they're both gone.  They were my world when I was younger.  We moved from place to place due to him being a career airman, and with no siblings of my own, my main interaction, for good and bad, was with them.  They were just 19 when they married, and I was already on the way.  Neither of them was particularly ready for a child, an admittedly good child who mostly read but was overly-sensitive and kind of a cry-baby and too bright but socially awkward for her own good.  

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