Sunday, June 18, 2023

Father's Day

Slightly early, but I'm up to my ears in edits and procrastinating, so you get this story now. 

I've talked about my dad before on the blog, but this year, I thought I'd share a story about him (and my mom) before I came along.

My dad was my mom's second husband. She married young, and for the wrong reasons: she was 17 and bored and thought marriage meant regular sex and not worrying about money. Then her husband joined the army and was sent to Korea for 3 years and she lost the sex and got a waitress job to make ends meet so she didn't have to move back in witth her grandmother. 

My dad was a regular at the diner where she worked. He was 40. He had a steady job as a firefighter and, as the youngest of 12, was taking care of his aging parents while his siblings married and made lots of babies. The whole family was devoutly Irish Catholic. Dad had dated in the past, but never came close to marriage. 

He was not prepared for the force of nature that was my mom. He didn't know what hit him. 

Six months after they met, her husband came home and she filed for divorce. She picked up her divorce decree and applied for a marriage license at City Hall on the same day, with the same clerk.

Their marriage was happy. She was the center of his universe, and she liked it that way. Then the church got involved. The parish priest showed up one night at their apartment and told my dad he was living in sin with a divorced woman, called my mom a few choice names, and said that any child of such a sinful union would be damned.

Now Dad was the kindest man I knew. And yet - perhaps because he was 40 and had a 20-year-old in his bed and regular sex for the possibly first time - he picked up the judgey father and chucked him down the front steps, never to return.

Dad remained Catholic for the rest of his life - his religion was a comfort during rough periods with his job - but I don't think it was ever the same after that. And he never regretted his choice. Mom made sure of it.

1 comment:

Summer Flies said...

What a great tale... or life. It's good to see someone see sense when the church gets involved. I'm glad your Dad make a good choice :)