“Uphill Both Ways, An Anecdotal Memoir“
My Dearest Sarah and Patrick,
Before you is a set of stories about your father. When you wake up one morning and notice that you are not the towhead kid that you once were, you get a first hand look at your own mortality. It has long been my intention to leave you both with some tangible evidence of your family heritage. Yes, we have the ancestry tree that has been passed from one generation to another. That tells us the who and the what of those who lived before us. But it doesn’t tell us anything about the how and the why of those lives.
I know very little about my parents. There were very few stories about their respective childhoods and certainly nothing written first hand about those events that shaped their lives, their attitudes, and why they did the things they did. I am sure that both my father and mother experienced pivotal moments in their childhood that affected them, and their children later in life. I just don’t know what they are. I have long believed that my parents did a disservice to their children by not revealing their life’s experiences to us.
This is a collection of stories about those events that helped to shape your father into the person you know. I’m sure you have wondered why I do things the way I do. You have probably wondered why I think the way I do. Some of it comes from the teachings of my parents and some of it comes from my experiences with the unique and wonderful people who I encountered along the way. It all combines into a picture of the life of a person.
As you know, your grandfather (my father) died of Alzheimer’s disease. This in no way means that I will suffer the same fate, however that thought does linger in those dark places where I walk alone. Because of that possibility, I have started writing these stories earlier than I had originally wanted. I am not afraid of many things in this life, but I am afraid of leaving you. I’m afraid of not knowing who you are, not knowing Mom, and not knowing your children. If that time should come, at least I will have documented the pivotal moments in my life so that you can better understand who I am. I do this for you out of the deepest respect for who you have become. It is my hope that you will show that same respect for your own children and document those pivotal moments in your own lives for them.
To me, this is an integral part of parenting. Mom and I raised you both as best we could. We continue to be available to you, as you need support, advice, and guidance. As you will undoubtedly find out, parenting doesn’t stop. It’s a job that you take on for life and it will probably be the hardest job you will ever have. But, the proudest moment and the greatest achievement in my life was when I earned the title of parent.
With deepest love and respect,
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