I wanted to write about my Dad with Fathers Day coming up this weekend. My Dad never really new his Dad growing up. It is really a complicated story. My Dad has been kept a secret from his real Fathers family all his life. He has met his Father quite a few times, but does not have his last name. As far as I’m concerned my Dad is the First Conn in a hopefully long line of Conn family members.
My Dad had it rough growing up. His Stepfather would beat the crap out of him. Sometimes because he was drunk and a lot of times because he just felt like it. I’m not just talking about turn you over your knee spankings, My Dad caught beatings on a regular basis. I was there the day my Father’s childhood came boiling up and I watched him beat the crap out of my grandfather. He slammed him through a coffee table.
I’m absolutely amazed that my father didn’t do the same to me. History seems to repeat itself, but somehow, someway my Dad didn’t treat me the way he was treated. He broke the cycle. People always say that their Dad is their hero. I don’t know if my Dad is my hero, but he was the most important piece in me being the man I am today. I get all of the good sensitive stuff from my mother.
I was the Black Sheep of my family and my Dad let me be me. My family is filled with hunters, and I hate to hunt. My family were all baseball players, and I loved to play basketball. My Dad was very strict. I had to be in when the street lights came on. He knew how to punish me when I did something wrong, he took basketball away from me. Even though he disliked basketball he came to every game I had that he could make.
Up until recently, when my dad became old and soft, I only saw my dad cry twice in my life. One time he passed a kidney stone that looked like a golf ball and when I was sixteen I actually tried to commit suicide. I was a strange young boy, but my Dad seemed to understand me. That day I saw disappointment in his eyes. Mostly in me and my actions, but I somehow feel like he was questioning himself as a parent.
I almost lost my Dad this past December. He has had numerous back surgeries to the point that he has worked himself all the way up to his neck. He had a spinal cord stroke during surgery and for a short period of time we thought we might lose him. My Dad has recovered and just recently moved to Florida I don’t know how often I will get to see him, but I will always be thinking of him.
I have so many fond memories and moments that I will never forget. My first fight in school. I got suspended for 3 days. My Dad asked me to questions when he came into the principals office… Did you start the fight? NO. Did you finish it? YES. Then he took me to get ice cream. I was the one who helped take care of my grandmother her last few days. I came in to check on her and she stopped breathing. I was the one who had to tell my father that his mother was dead. I’ll never forget the sound he made. But in some weird way I was glad that I was the one who told him the news.
I don’t know why i wrote all of this today but I felt the need to say my Dad is the toughest man i have ever met. He taught me to stand up for myself, to only respect people who respect you, and most of all he taught me the right way to be a Dad. For that I say thank you and I love you.