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Life lessons

By Caitlin Mendez

On Zealous Thierry

I learned something really important after my mother died from cancer and I had to deal with my father.

At first I was angry with him. Murderously angry. Why should Dad get off so easy? Mom died in terrible pain, after a life made miserable by Dad’s bad temper. By his lying and cheating and drinking. By his complete lack of sensitivity or tenderness. I wanted to punish him for all that, for what he did to her, and me– and I did.

I won’t go into the phone calls or the nasty notes, or the way I’d snarl and walk away from him at family gatherings. Believe me, I made him miserable, and myself too. But after a year or so I began to realize how this anger was eating at me. What was the point? I decided I’d just– let it go. It was just one day, just– just suddenly, I was able to see him differently. Dad wasn’t an ogre. He was a sad, lonely, broken man; who had needed my mother and who now needed me. He’d been damaged by the hard knocks life dealt him, that’s all. Starting with the death of his own mother when he was six. When life presented challenges, the couldn’t handle them. That’s why he’d lash out or let people down. Pain and pressure made him crazy. From that moment a few years ago until he died in February, I did my best to make his life better.

Getting to know my dad, really talking, was so good for me. Just incredibly liberating. I only wish I had done it sooner. If I had been better to him, he might have been able to be better to my mother. Now that he’s gone, I miss him terribly.

By the same author;

House Number 230
Elmswood Park
Along 1st Road
Marondera, Mashonaland East 00000
Zimbabwe

Published by K. T. NHAMO

I would rather entertain people and hope they were educated than educate them and hope they were entertained.

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