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First Impressions Father’s Day Reflections

Last month I wrote my First Impressions about my mother and what a blessing it is to have her in my life. This month with Father’s Day looming, I can only say that I probably really never knew my father. He passed away suddenly with a massive heart attack when I was only twenty-one.

Our relationship was always difficult at best. I was a late in life only child of my parents. My father was extremely overprotective. His own life was lived on the wild side with his career as tavern owner and innkeep- er. During the summers I can remember him allowing me to bartend during the day when business was slow. In those days, it was beer in bottles. Keep in mind this was back in the 1950s when none of the “rules and regulations” kept a nine year old sequestered in an antiseptic atmosphere. I would dish up pickled eggs and pigs feet and the customers would tip me a nickel or dime. Those were the days when my father was my idol.

A mysterious fire burned the tavern and Daddy took to the road as a master electrician working on the mis- sile sites in Nevada and the skyscrapers in New York. His infrequent weekends home were sprinkled with a diabetic bad temper and an almost frenetic fear that I would have a boyfriend.

I married at seventeen, the month after my high school graduation, left home and never looked back. By the time I was nineteen, my (many years now ex) husband was in the army and I was following him to anywhere but my hometown. If I could have stayed in the Panama Canal Zone and never returned home, it would have been my dream come true. In 1968, we were fortu- nate enough to be stationed right here in Atlanta at Fort McPherson. We settled down in a hippy triplex in Virginia Highlands; bought with his GI bill. My first child, my parent’s first grandchild was born in April. In August of that same year, my father died, with my mother, my daughter and me in the car heading home from a breakfast out at Grandma’s Biscuits. He was fifty eight years old.

There are many regrets that I really never knew my father and my children certainly did not have the expe- rience of the doting grandfather that he would have been.

This month I am giving tribute to all the fathers and sons/daughters may your love for each other sustain and nour- ish you. May your relationship be one without regrets.

Sherry Henderson Editor Publisher

Oracle 20/20 June 2012 3

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