Dad's Name Was Philip. Part 2.
Saturday, August 6, 2011
The World War eventually tested the marriage of my mother, and father . Mom loved my father very much, but the war did so much damage to him that it affected their marriage.
Mom and dad were wonderful, but they fought all the time. Poor dad could never seem to mix in the real world where men had to be flexible in ways that would practically cause them to do anything in order to keep the most low paying jobs.
The world was not kind to good men, men that fought for this country. Those that survived the war, the ones that came home with battle scars. They did not always make it, or adapt well with normal life. I was not born when my father tried to work in his troubled times. It became evident that the horrors of war would remain with him forever. Things happened that burned in the minds of troops, and soldiers like my father. Dad had to fight in hand to hand combat in the jungles , and the conditions were horrific. He also had to dress a lot of wounds on really bad off soldiers. He carried a lot of dead men shot to pieces with their bodies torn up. Dad was a front line medic, and combat fighter. I think he had to use the bayonets , and maybe knives. Lord only knows what he might have had to do.
I say this with a solid core of truth. I had no respect for the cruel creators of malicious wars . I never had any ill feelings toward the people of different lands because they are often forced to draw swords against us by no good leaders.
My father's brother was a lawyer. He helped my father to get a disability pension. My uncle used strong , convincing words to define my dad's situation. The medical doctors from the VA were evidence, and proof that dad had to have help, and so he was fortunate in getting a pension to feed his family. The main things my dad did was to work in his gardens ,and stay up long nights talking to himself, and to other soldiers in his bedroom.
It was heart breaking. It was a slow but gradual definite progression that would take place.
Dad would work himself into a rage, or anger filled with extreme hate that would always cause my brother, my mother, and I to have to wrestle him , and fight him, hold him down, yell at him, sometimes plead with him to please shut up, so we could sleep. The pension was not much in the beginning. Sometimes we were lucky to have bread, or milk or any kind of sliced meat at home. I learned how to wrestle, and fight very early in life. No one in school could ever get the best of me in a fight. At least dad gave us plenty of exercise in the art of self defense. My dad was a full grown man, and mama, my brother, and I would wrestle him down. I suspect he probably could have really hurt us if he wanted too, but he never did. Dad never raised a fist against us, but he would get extremely mad, and we would have to wrestle him down.
Mom sent me to the grocery stores to charge groceries. I felt awful when I would tell the grocery clerk to charge everything. The grocery bill was getting to where the clerk refused to give us any more credit . Mom would pay the bills, but it was embarrassing.
Dad worked very hard in the fields at home, on our land. His work amounted to hardly nothing because it was all manual. He had the land, but not the proper tools to make good use of it. There was so much grass that he would throw sheets of roofing tin on the ground to crush it. He used hand tools until his skin was burned by the sun .
Our family has a nice place, but it never had the right farming equipment. The work was extremely hard for all of us. I could never bend down to use hand tools very much, but I was good at lifting. As I grew older I became a very strong young man that could easily carry a couple hundred pounds on my shoulders. Cucumber pickers would fill up bushels of cucumbers, and peppers, and I would easily carry them long distances across the fields.
One night dad went to a bar room on his bicycle. He would never drive cars. Something happened and a hit and run driver knocked him into a ditch. I helped dad out of the ditch , and took him to the hospital. Fortunately his knee was only struck very hard. He looked very pitiful, drunk, and bruised up. I called the police. I was a teenager. I rode with a state trooper looking for what, I had no idea. The hit run driver was long gone. Someone like that want hang around to be put in jail.
Dad had no idea who did it. I kept close tabs on my father when he went out to drink. I asked all the bar room owners to call me when dad would leave the bar rooms so that I could pick him up to bring him home. A drunk man on a bicycle wobbling on the highway is an invitation for trouble. Anytime he left the bars, I would put his bicycle on moms car. Sometimes mom, and I would go and pick him up.
I should not say this, but I think people who read this will understand our lives. When I was six years old, mom fell in love with another man. Mom had become a waitress to help bring in money for food, and groceries. I guess dad figured it all out early on.
At first when I met the person, I told him to leave my mother alone because dad would beat him up . I cursed him. I cursed the man . He tried to talk to me. I hit him as hard as I could with my fists , but I could not hurt the man. At six years old I used the worst language you could think of on him. The man understand me very well. He told mom that I was in my rights. I think I may have cursed mom out as well. Mom was very hot about my atitude.
The man would defend my mother when she was a waitress. I told mom she was committing sins. I told her she needed to go to church to confess her sins to God. Mom was pretty angry at me.
Dad figured the situation out. Dad found the man , and told him to leave mom alone. There was no fight, and the other man respected my father. He always said decent respectable things about dad.
The other man never said one single bad word against my father, but he loved my mother, and never stopped loving my mother.
My mother loved my father too. Only once did she leave dad, but she went back to dad because her lover told her too. Her lover told my mother that her sons needed their father.
I did love my father, and mother had returned home from New Orleans with us. New Orleans was nothing like home. Dad was selling everything for nothing, all the work tools, everything. Mom went back home to homestead the property so that dad would not sell our home.
The other man, the lover of my mother always shined my shoes for school for me. He was not a terrible person. He was not perfect either. He would drink himself into a rage , and sometimes become ugly mom said . I saw the man drunk when I was a child , but he was very nice to me. I told him that he better not ever put a hand on my mother because if he did I would hurt him when I grow up.
Mom and dad stayed married , but she kept her lover for probably forty years. He gave mom money every week so that she would never have to be a waitress. My mother's brothers met him a few times. They met him when he was drunk once ,and beat the living crap out of him.
Mom, and her lover, would meet almost every night. It was really a degrading existence for them. They met together, and loved each other while his wife kept his home in existence , and family together, and while my mother kept her home in existence , and her family together.
They would meet each other in a city , and then drive to the woods by my grandfather's old abandoned house. It was called the old place. Way back in the woods they would meet at the "old place," and probably make love in moms old station wagon , down an old dirt road. Mom would bring stuff for mosquitoes , and burn the damn stuff in the car. Sometimes they went to drive ins. Sometimes he would go and gamble on horses. He always won at gambling, and would give mom money. He gave mom money every week, and it would always be spent on food, or groceries. Maybe some people would think of my mother as a tramp, but she was and angel that would probably do anything for her children. Dad was not in the real world. All he could really do was to complain a lot, and relive that miserable stinking war. That stinking war made everyone into something feel bad.
They really did love each other, and I think mom loved dad too. We all tried our best to keep the situation a secret, otherwise all the people of our town would have pegged mom as a slut.
I loved mom. I even tolerated her lover. He worked hard. Dad tried to work in the fields. Dad was not afraid of any man. I will never know what was in dad's mind. Only once did he say to me, " I know all about it."
Mom . and dad continued to fight, and cursed each other using words that were harsh and bitter that could make sailors blush. They cursed and fought their entire marriage, but they never got a divorce.
As years went by I became a deputy sheriff. One day my partner ,and I responded to and unruly drunk report. My mother's old lover was nasty drunk. I walked into the place where he was nasty drunk , and he got rude with me. He had a young woman right beside him.
I had choice words for him. I said , " I was wrong about you. You are garbage, and if you do not shut your mouth in this place of business I will haul you out of here right now , and throw you in jail, and in the drunk tank you will be every man's puppy. I came here to take you to jail, but I am going to give you one chance to get out right now." And he did.
I hated so much to tell mom what kind of man he was , but she was my mother. She never saw him anymore.
My partner asked me if I knew the man. I said," not like I thought I did ."
I guess the last ten years of mom, and dad being together were good . They would drink coffee together, and eat breakfast together. They seemed to be O.K. in their elder years.
Dad, and mom did alright. They were not rich, but not poor. And every time I bought groceries I bought two of the same items, and gave my mother the same things I bought for our home.
Mom was not too bad . She did anything for us, to help keep our home. She was like a lioness that would drag the meat into the house for her cubs at any cost . Mom was just a country girl, raised on a farm. She took care of seven brothers, and she carried a cripple sister on her shoulders until her sister died. My grandmother died in my mother's arms. I always loved mom. She had a right to a lover. She followed my father from one army base to another , one after the other until he went overseas to fight a war.
Dad raised worms of all things, just for a little extra money even though his check got much better. Mom had life insurance on dad, and the family, but when dad died, mom took fifteen hundred dollars that he saved selling earth worms , and bought his coffin with it.
Dad had a nice grave. A big cement case went over it. The army gave him a headstone, and the military fired rifles during his funeral. Part of my book was written by dad's grave. Sometimes I would go there to write once in a while during the process of taking care of his place of rest . When mom was alive, she would come along too.
In my dreams I talked to dad while he stood by his grave. He told me that being deceased was a bore. Just lying around all dressed up was a ridiculous waste of time. He enjoyed fishing. I guess that is where he would have rather been, just fishing.
God Bless Everyone.