The Ghost of My Father

Unresolved issues wander aimlessly through my thoughts

Jim Parton
Crow’s Feet

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Abandoned shell of a house on an open windswept landscape.
Photo by Sigurdur Fjalar Jonsson on Unsplash

My father and I were strangers to one another all of his life. In the last few months before he died, we became wary friends. I am unsure why he suddenly noticed me when he was 66 years old. Perhaps he felt his mortality?

My mind holds an empty landscape where memories of my father should be. I listen to friends talk about their fathers and the memories they carry of them. I am reminded that I have nothing resembling a similar bank of experiences to draw from.

For many years, I was angry with my father because of his aloof neglect. I did not fully understand my childhood and why he was absent from my life and my emotions. I resented how he seemed to easily dismiss not only me but all of his family from his attentions.

My father became a father before he realized what that would mean for his life. He and my mother married when she was 17 and he was 18, out of necessity due to pregnancy. After the birth of my eldest sister, the four of us followed in rapid succession. By age 27, my father had five children to feed.

He did finish high school with my mother’s help. When first married, he took any job available. He had to provide an income for the family he was creating. Soon he settled on the job of being an…

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Jim Parton
Crow’s Feet

Retired Teacher and Funeral Celebrant. The gay and married dad of three grown children. I have always been fascinated by the human condition. Come read with me.