My father and I did not get along well when he was near his death. There had been several disagreements and over time we became somewhat estranged. He took me out of activities which I really liked and insisted on my studying. I did not feel like it at all.
I had to work hard with him since he was a poor man. By the age of eleven I could lift as much as a man. I worked all day, on holidays, lifting boards since he was a carpenter. We nailed, cut, painted, mixed cement among other things. Poverty made him crochety and at times unpleasant.
He contracted cancer and died, and we were not on good terms. When I had my own children, I changed much of my views of him. I was a father and my children were rather imperfect, causing me much concern, and I did not know how to be the perfect parent one little bit. I divorced my wife and things did not get better. It was then that I started thinking and realizing many things which I could not see before.
My father, like any man, wanted to give us things which other kids had, but could not afford to do that. It made him feel badly at times, incompetent and he could not explain this to us, or to me. Even if he did I would probably not have understood. My working with him gave me strength, and perseverance to finish a job when I had started. It helped me through this world since there are many difficult times which come our way. Indeed, I have much to thank him for and feel sorry about the fact that he left this earth with disharmony between us.
Perhaps it has shown me one thing and that is the need for communication between parents and their children. Being a tough guy father may have its benefits, but telling kids something kind may help them to understand or feel appreciated. If it is necessary to tell a student something then reasoning with them may also help. It may be hard to do but it is worth trying, for they really do not understand the world of grownups. We help them when we speak with them.