If I asked my father for the time he would give me the history of clock making. He would often lecture me by walking slowly in circles. I used to think it would be nice to have a discourse with him now, but between his circles and my rabbit holes, perhaps not.
“I was a terrible father, but I am going to be a good grandpa.” Those were among the last words my dad spoke to me. The anniversary of his passing has occurred without much notice in recent years. Yet, this will be the first year that I am able to hold my son.
The title of this song is, Speaking of My Father’s Death, which is also a chapter title in a book I wrote. However my focus here is on an expectation my father placed on me. I was to surpass him in all things. Meaning that I was to be a better husband, a better father, financially stable, etc. This is because he had baggage I never carried.
On a particular day my father was showering and needed soap. He grabbed a bar and did what he needed. That night, my father was awakened by his dad whipping him with an electric razor. With the electrical cord ending wrapped around his strong hand and the razor flying, my grandpa began to whip my sleeping father because someone had touched his soap.
There were other stories of abuse while his mother stood in the background. “Son, you did not go through the things I did. You should surpass me, and your son should surpass you.”