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Saturday, February 2, 2013

Old writing about my Father

I have been digging through some of my old writings. I am going to post some just for fun. I am not going to proofread these writings so excuse the grammar. This was interesting to read, I wrote it for an English class in 1997.

Print by C.Lee Burdine

 

 The person who had the most dramatic effect on my life, was and still is my father. He passed away in 1995 from chronic alcoholism, or self doubt. My father Clarence Lee Burdine, was born in Harlan county , KY. in 1943. He always said, " I've been trying to get away since I was born." He almost died from strangulation at birth. Dad was a left handed devil child, anyhow that is how his parents would have described him. I felt this paragraph was necessary to understand his affect on me. Dad was a really good father when I was young. As a child I remember Dad taking my sister and I to the museums, and to the theatre. Dad was always concerned with giving us a well rounded outlook, by teaching us about different cultures, and their ways of living. He just wanted us to have everything we could without spoiling us. What we did not know was all along his self doubt was overwhelming him. How Dad remained positive as long as he did, I do not know. When I was coming into my teenage years, Dad's self doubt started to wear him down. A whole lot of issues came to light, Dad was drunk more than he was sober. He spent most of his time with his friend Chris. For me it was like, Dad? Dad who? I began to despise him more and more. For Dad to just walk away from his family; I couldn't understand. So my rebellion began. There was hell to pay and somebody was going to pay; I didn't care who. I didn't understand why Dad hated us so much, why he was doing exactly what his Dad did to him. As Dad's delirium got worse, so did my anger. He would tell us he was gay, and worthless. At fifteen hell I didn't know if I was going to be a gay or drunk like my father, talk about a mind trip. I was lucky there was allot of people around me that helped me out. As I got older, I got more hateful than ever. At seventeen I dropped out of high-school, social life was to much for me. I skateboarded day and night, that was my life. Scamming was what me, and my friends did when we weren't skating. I was straight edge, I didn't do anything destructive to my body, but I was killing my mind. Talk about paranoia, I had become a sober version of my father self hatred to the second power. Everything screwed up in my life was Dad's fault. I was responsible for nothing not even me. I started college at eighteen, and took a full course load, big mistake. I came to the first day of classes and that was it, I didn't withdraw from classes. "I don't care", that was my slogan if something went wrong that is all I had to say. When I woke up with no girl friend, and in jail guess what? I cared. My girlfriend broke up with me because I dropped out of college, kicking a cop car landed me in jail for the night. Things started to change for me at that point. Dad got me out of jail, my Mom was going to leave me there. Which I would have deserved if she did, but Dad wouldn't let her. This was during one of Dad's sober binges it was kind of weird me getting picked up from jail and Dad picking me up. When I was twenty I got a job and kept it for three years. I was started towards being responsible for myself. I got my G.E.D. started to think again, realized I was responsible for me. That whatever went wrong I was responsible for not anyone else,  I got a better job. 1995 was the year I had to wake up or die. That year started with big changes. Finally I had good credit, I got my first loan for a motorcycle. I started back to college. My Grandpa died, my best friend died in a motorcycle wreck. I told Dad how his drinking affected me and he understood. About a month later me, and Dad got into our only fist fight ever, that changed allot between us. I wrecked my motorcycle doing ninety into a turn, how I lived who knows. From the moment I hit the ER I started to realize what all of this was all about, I understood Dad finally. All of this chaos was staring to come together. While I was in for back surgery, Dad died on Aug. 30,1995. I thought his death was a closing, I could have never being more wrong. I started finding writings of his while going through his belongings. Talk about Deja vu I thought I was reading my own dark dreary writings. I never knew how much I was his son. Before I wrecked my motorcycle Dad and I were walking the same path, I chose a different path than him after my wreck. I have a hard time saying that the way Dad lived was wrong. I don't think he could have lived much different than what he did. I wouldn't be who I am today if Dad would have been any different. Yes, it was a hard way to live. The only way I usually learn is the hard way, the easy way always turned me off. The last gift Dad gave me was the freedom of his soul. I now can remember him for the things he taught me. It is truly amazing to me when a soul sheds this fleshy vessel, how we are able to shed our petty attachments to it and remember the eternal lessons. Love ourselves, that is what Dad taught me, but he never said love ourselves, his actions said different. All of what has happened in my life is nothing. I don't consider them as ill's but as personal triumphs. Others have had it much harder, I may have no shoes but others have no feet. So who are we with feet to complain, at least we can walk.