my father was a selfish mean drunk that beat my mom and would back hand you for most anything - children should be seen and not heard was his mantra - one night while punching my mom , my teenage older brother tried to pull him off and he beat him pretty bad , broke his jaw blacked his eyes. - to stop him mom hit him with a ketchup bottle ( the first thing if substance she saw) this was around 1962 - he left and never came back - but so much damage was done - she tried to leave for years but he went to the priest and the priest made her take him back saying she would be kicked out of the church if she disobeyed. I saw him stumbling drunk on the street once I was driving around with my friends as a teen, they laughed he was hanging onto a street sign so not to fall. I never told them who it was . years later my closet brother and I made a relationship of sorts with him he was old and had surgery and in ill health it was a chore because he had control issues ans still cussed a lot , was a racist. and after some cruel remarks I avoided him again . the next time I saw him was in the hospital he had a stroke at a bingo game and lost the game as he stood to curse out "god damn , son of a bitch - he fell over. after that the only words he could utter were " god damn , son of a bitch " which meant all things how are you - are you hungry - do you need the nurse all answered with those words.
he was in a nursing home for 5 years before he died of lung disease ( the reason he had surgery he had 1/2 of one lung removed ) he worked all his life since his teens at the local glass factory. everyone assumed it was job related .
I remember when I was around 4 or 5 asking for something ( I can't remember what now something friends or family had ) but he sat me down and said the family was poor because I came along and it cost so much to take care of me that the family had to make do with being poor . looking back as an adult I see how abusive he was but then it was just how family was. mom crying in the night bruised and pale in the morning, I slept in a crib in their room until we moved when I was 6 . I can remember the smell of booze breath filling the room and the cries at night and the sounds - I would hold my ears -- if I had to go to the bathroom I just would wet in my bed - and scoot over so not to get in trouble until morning which I did for wetting the bed. . I got hit often so I learned to be quiet around him.. I cried and cried at his funeral not because he was a good dad he was far from it. but a part of me always hoped and prayed he would snap out of it and call me princess instead of fat face - and be proud of me and turn into a dad like on father knows best . with him dead those dreams were gone too.
this was harder to write than I thought .