…about my Dad

death picture

Originally uploaded by jayfherron.

To be honest with you-I have no idea how to begin about my father. The best way I suppose is to say that I love him.
I knew that the day my little brother Carl William was struck by the car in front of our house,my dad holding his battered body-still living but certainly dieing,the back of his head was crushed his face blueing and his mouth contracting like that of a dogs that has been run over and ready to die.
My father rode away with Carl in the ambulance-our family in stunned shock as we we stood in the front yard and in abstract because of the event.
I knew my father loved us when he returned home. My mother was lying on the sofa-and the way my father took her into his arms and wept told me that was so. I was 32 year years old before I could tell him how that moment effected me-and how much I loved him,and his reaction was not the one I drove a few hundred miles to recieve. His blank stare as I saw it through my tears was the final word-silence,if that can be described as a response.
A year ago this month I saw my 85 year old father being wheeled down a hospital corridor-a hose going into his nose,and he was out of it from the anesthesia. I have never seen my father like this and the reality quickly took my soul and heart and told me that the days for my father are running out.
He has made a year with cancers-I’m not really sure the extent of them….no one has ever told me a thing,except that he has cancer.
Some time ago I was in a conversation with an aqaintence about my military service…and the rape and sexual assaults came into the conversation-I’m not really sure how,but the part that sticks out is the other person said after al that time it was time to ‘just get over it’….
It is’nt that easy.
My family never knew about the rapes. I once told my (now only surviving brother) younger brother about them some long years ago-but no ones ever known. The only thing they ever knew was that I was a failure in the Navy….which was to be expected because of my behavior in Virginia and later in the Washington area-the last home I lived in with my family.

[ one has to read these blogs in sequence from where I started writing to understand how this entwines with everything]

Because I was considered a big trouble maker in DC during high school…which my parents could’nt accept what I told them was going on in Richmond,and since someone from Richmond was in the same school in DC – well,time was up for me to be in school. These are all detailed in earlier pages of this.
So I was given the cold welcome when I returned from the Navy,and my family has never ever regarded me the same since then.
I did it for my father-enlisting…and saw it as a chance to redeem myself with him. When it was advised to me by the education officer on ship I had college potential and the suggestion I use the Navy to send me there was as a dream come true-my life was going to improve and my career was going to be in the Navy.
How could I have been so wrong-to ask to serve with my older brother? How can a brother treat a brother like my brother treated me?
I don’t know what my father was told in 1970 when I was locked away in barracks D. He certainly was never told the truth-or so I suppose…how would I know? He never asked me.
And now my dad is going to die.
All of these years the incident that happened in the Navy concluded my relationship as it should have been-father and son-ended and never revived.
Theres a holiday coming up-finally I was asked to come and share Thanksgiving with my brothers family and ma and pa…the invite stated “we have a lot to be thankful for-another year with Pops”….well,yeah-thats because my brother and his family live right around the corner from them…see them every day-share the daily paper,and Sunday family meals. They’ve been to Europe together-I’ve never been to Europe with my family,I did get to go for a short week alone with dad…but he must of been beginning his stages of cancer then because seven days turned into three days and we returned from a trip to North Carolina.
It is interesting -my brother was here once and we were looking through some photos-and there were some from when I used to build scaffolds and ran a crew in south Florida for a few years. My brother asked when I did that…heck,I did it for five years,started as a truck driver-ended up being the boss. My brother never knew that? My family has no idea the strength of the positions I had in building many of the prominant buildings here in Gainesville-more less the projects that I took part in across the state…and the south east states.
In spirit-‘Sir’….my grandfather-my fathers father,see’s the things I’ve done. I can feel him holding my hand as we watched the construction of the ‘Heart O’Town’ hotel in Charleston West Virginia…after he was forced to retire from steel construction because of his age-my grandfather came to visit us in Charleston and every day we were there he took me to that job site. He died when I was still a kid-but because I always remembered the night he took me to see them move that train locomotive into the Smithsonian I always thought of ‘Sir’ when ever I worked with cranes and steel and rigging and trucks.
I swear to God….I wish my own father could hear the things I’ve done,and soon he will be dead. It is killing me too….I feel him inside of me as if a part of my own body is going with him as he goes,spiritually…
I went up there to see them-my ‘family’ ,this past weekend. I left there with such hurt that I think I hope I never see them again. I was only a guest….I surely will not return to see another Thanksgiving with them,hardly recall the last time we ever did that as a family. My sons were’nt asked to come-so the whole family thing is sort of superficial
if my own children are’nt invited,and I am only asked as a token gesture?
My entire adult life has been eaten up and spit around because of the events while I tried my best and my brother Frank put me to ruin-the rapes began a life that meant I had to carry that burden alone. The physical part of the assaults ended in the confines of barracks D….but they followed me all of my life because of the secret being mine and yet having to endure the position as the family outcast-seeing from the sidelines all the goodness between my younger brother and them-my parents,and seeing how that all works. The men that assaulted me would have done me a favor if they had gone on and finished the job and killed me…I’ve been rather dead since then anyway.

2 Responses to “…about my Dad”

  1. B.J. Says:

    Okay, I’ve got to make a comment about what you said about no one in your family knowing about your rape. I’ve known about it since I was a teenager. My Mum told me about the incident and said it made Dad very angry.

  2. B.J. Says:

    For some dumb reason, my computer decided to post my comment before I was finished with it. You don’t have to carry the burden of the gang rape alone. You have family who care about and support you. Unfortunately, some people can’t handle hearing about horrible things done to members of their own family. Try not to be let down by the ones who can’t handle it and don’t be afraid to confide in the ones who can handle the information and will keep a confidence.

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