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I Was My Father's Son


Years ago, when my father was still alive, we had a falling out. It was the normal type of

family turmoil and that’s as far as I will explain it except to say that I was still very much a kid when it happened.

Even though I was in my late twenties, I was still very much a kid.


We went a few years without a word being spoken, and then completely out of nowhere, he called and wanted to have dinner and talk.

We did.

He told me that he was about to undergo quadruple bypass surgery and he wanted to make sure that we were good before he did.

We made amends.

 

Shortly after surgery, his girlfriend left him and I helped him in every way I could.

At that time, I couldn’t do too much, but I did all that I could.

I never gave it a second thought – all I could do I did and I did without a moment’s hesitation.

Why?

Because I was My Father’s Son.

Some people just could not understand why or how I could change on a dime like that.

It was very simple to me. It still is very simple to me.

It was because I was My Father’s Son.

And we seemed to be back on track again.

 

A couple years later, we had another falling out – I don’t remember the circumstances, but I do remember they were harsh enough – for him – that he broke off all contact with me.

This went on for some time until the evening when I got a phone call.

I had just come in from an evening walk around and I received a call that went something like this…“Is this Francis Weber, Jr? This is Hamot Medical Center. We have you listed as the primary emergency contact for Francis Weber, Sr. Is this correct?”

 

I told them that yes, I was his son, but I didn’t know I was listed as the contact.

 

“Your father was found after a motorcycle accident and he is in transit to our facility for emergency treatment. We need you to get here as soon as possible.”

 

And I went to the hospital. And as my timing would have it, just as I got into the ER, he was being wheeled in through the doors. I could still hear the helicopter outside, that’s how close the timing had been.

 

His head was as round as a basketball and he was packed up and strapped down and I stood there watching him wheel on by.

 

Hours later – and several surgeries that night alone – he landed in the ICU.

At least he looked like himself again.

And I stayed there with him for I don’t know how long.

And I went back as much as I could.

Why?

Because I was My Father’s Son.

 

A little later on, I found out that his last girlfriend left and he was alone.

He went for a ride to NY to get cheap cigarettes and he claimed that a rabbit jumped in front of the bike.

The doctor said that all tests pointed to a minor stroke, not a rabbit.

No matter what, he was in for a long haul.

He now had more plates and screws and rods in him than his Harley did.

And he had no one to take care of him.

So I did.

Why?

Because I was My Father’s Son.

 

I worked things out with my boss that I could work the mornings and go to the hospital and then to my father’s house out in Waterford in the afternoons.

So I did. For the few months.

He needed me.

And I was My Father’s Son.

 

He got better but then he got together with the horrible hag that would become his second – and last – wife. And she was a horrible, despicable excuse for a human being.

In that time, dementia was beginning to take root and he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He underwent chemo and after some time, he was free of it.

That’s what he told me, anyway.

 

All of a sudden, I began to get hand-written letters, supposedly from him – condemning me and attacking me – all of them generally hateful and spiteful in nature.

 

I knew that these letters came from the hag because my father was a techno-geek. I don’t think he even remembered how to write in cursive because he had been emailing and typing so much by that point.

 

I never heard another spoken word from him again.

Just her letters.

 

The last letter said that he was disowning me, taking my name off of every document – including removing me as the executor of his estate (interesting point for the hag to make in this letter) and he wanted back all the family heirlooms he had handed down to me. This included an original Winchester 30/30 that dated back to the turn of the century – last century.

The letter went on to say that he was giving my knives and pistol to my sister’s husband.

WTF?

I’ll let you draw your own conclusions on what was really going on here.

Me? I just let it go.

I had had enough.

So I sent it all back through my mother and my sister.

I was done now.

 

And then the call came. It wasn’t from the hag. It was from my mother.

 

“Your father passed away last night. He had a heart attack so massive that his body never moved. They thought he was sleeping.”

 

All of that past ‘soap-opera’ history and now he was gone.

 

And then came the service.

 

I went to the service – after all of these gyrations – after everything in the past. I decided to go to the service and, at the very least, pay my final respects to my father.

Why?

Because I was My Father’s Son.

 

The hag was having fun that night.

She was dancing around, giggling and laughing, telling everyone that this was “about her, not him…he’s dead…what does he care?”

That was all I had to hear.

He was gone.

And now I was gone.

Chapters of this book all ended.

 

But through ALL of that, my view had never once changed, and I would never think to change a thing, I would never feel an ounce of regret.

Why?

Because I was My Father’s Son.

 

It is a son’s obligation to be there for his father – just as his father was for him when he was growing up. It is a son’s obligation. There is no shade of gray and there is no arguable point to be made.

It is a son's obligation.

 

Anyone to claim the contrary is harboring their own fears and insecurities and seeks to lay blame on their father, instead of being his son.

 

“Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway”

If a son can’t put the fears behind him – just as his father had to do to raise him…

If a son can’t put his ‘beefs’ aside – just as his father had to do as the son grew into manhood…

If a son can’t be the man his father hoped he would become, then that boy is still nothing more than a selfish child.

He is not a man.

He is a coward.

 

I was forced to live through all of this, and that is my view of this life having survived it all.

 

That is my personal opinion on the matter, and if you don’t agree, I don’t particularly care.

You haven’t lived my life.

 

Why?

Because I was My Father’s Son, not you.


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