I was reading a book recently, where the character reminded me of my dad.
After my parents got divorced my dad moved from a bad house to an even worse house. At one time he was even living in a barn. I saw his space. He slept on a cot, and had his clothes in milk crates. There was another place that he would never take me too. I never understood why. Now looking back I see it was his pride. In many ways I am glad he never showed me. I am a visual person and it would be imprinted in my thoughts. I still remember how strange it was to see my dad inside the barn stall. His friend let him stay there when he had no where else to go.
At the time he lived in Indiana, and it was the early 90’s. I cannot imagine rent was that expensive, and yet he did not have the money. I remember one house he lived in, had mice. Yes, many homes have mice, but these you would hear crawling through the walls, and they loved the kitchen. You would find their droppings in cupboards, on the counter, and on the floor. I am sure my dad hated it, but many times he did not have a choice. I know what he would tell me today. He would say: “I have a roof over my head, and food on the table and that is all that matters.”
As I type this I am crying. I wish he had a better life. If he were still alive today, maybe he would have figured some things out and found that house that he could call a home, with no mice, windows that let in the light, a dresser for his clothes, and a place to park his beloved truck. I wish I had understood back then how hard it must have been for him. To have to leave the home you have, walk away from seeing your family each night, and start out new. I wish his life had been different. I will never know what his life might have turned out like, but I can keep living and working to make mine better.
Love you, Dad.