This writer learned first hand the mighty power of love from the lessons he received from his late Father who indirectly taught him on matters about loving someone who’s practically as un-loveable like him. When this writer turned 40, he moved on to the USA, and has been continuing his reflections on how he has managed to keep his integrity as a person after having had nearly a lifelong terrible relationship with his Father until he died in his mid 60s due to lung cancer. There were actually many, many days in the past, a large part of which this writer would rather forget, when he’d be deeply guilt ridden because of the hatred he used to feel for his Father.
Reading Susanne Sommers’ “Keeping Secrets” in his teenage years, he started understanding how he felt about his Father, who was both an alcoholic, and an inveterate gambler. How he got hold of a copy of the book was divinely provided, as he must have thought to himself that the book could be fun to read because he remembers watching Ms. Sommers in “Three’s Company” on TV then. But there was more to the fun he had when he read it, as reading it gave him a deep personal relief, as those words Ms. Sommer’s used to describe her childhood experiences nearly approximated what he felt every time his Father would come home drunk and spent. He’d such illnesses even before the youngest of this writer’s siblings were born towards the late 70s and early 80s, to complete their brood of 7 children (6 boys and 1 girl). Before this period, he thought there was actually something wrong with him, such that he would deserve having a parent like his Father.
This writer may have hazy recollection now, as he basically dislikes remembering bad experiences from his younger years, and as a matter of self-preservation, but he remembers the many occasions when he got several bad beatings from his Father who’d use his leather belt. He’d start the whole mini-event every time he arrives home very drunk, and would try to do petty things with his children (the exact details of which this writer doesn’t even want to remember now). It’s actually difficult remembering how he got into such occasions where he was spanked badly while his Father was drunk – he actually remembers how very scared he was then – but those occasions happened so often, such that he came to learn to be stronger – he can only smile now, with both hurt and malice in his heart, as he understands now, that those occasions were actually what most people call nowadays as “child abuse.” Some of his other brothers would actually have their own share of spankings, too (his sister was spared as she spent most of her childhood years with their Grandmother who then lived in the province).