blue moon (2)

Monday, February 25, 2008

Old School ©

It was a sombre weekend with my father’s sister passing but it went on just the same.
I can’t tell you how he feels, as my father doesn’t show his emotions that much unless it involves anger.
He wasn’t on speaking terms with his sister and hadn’t spoken to her for over 30 years but I have heard him make references about things that involve her but not by name.
Like when his father died and his rich brother inherited the house, he my father said that his brother shouldn’t have gotten the house but the person who cared for his father and that was his sister.
His father lived to be 105.

My father is a proud man, set in his ways.
He has seen too much, knows what fear feels like.
He is old school, proud and defiant.

Old school is a totally different world than we know today; it’s a way of life where survival was the job not the reward.
Home was nowhere near what anyone would call a modern city.
The police were two days away and the hospital was….. well why bother when it's 200 miles to go and a donkey for transportation.
The washroom was the bush behind the house and the tub was a tin drum used to heat and wash clothes.
Water and soap were scarce so everyone washed in the same water.

They didn’t own land so they had to scrap a living doing chores for other people and back then they didn’t have horses, the plough was pulled by people if they wanted to till the land.
He got as far as the second grade before he had to work and in fact only one of the kids finished the sixth grade.
Life out there was work not school.

Oldest of five kids from the second wife of my grandfather’s he was charged with raising the family in my grandfather’s absence.
My grandfather was a Sheppard and was gone for as long as a year at a stretch at times.
He did have a stepbrother who had grown up and moved to start a family of his own.

For most of their lives my father was the father for his younger siblings and was responsible for their well being even while under German occupation.
For thirty years until he came to Canada that was his job, even when he had to serve in the army for two years he had to get leave to come home and help.

When they sent his brother to Korea he protested saying it was he that should go but they refused him because he was the head of the household and for a year my father waited the return of his brother.
He was his favourite brother I think and when he died four years ago I could see the tears in his eyes well up but he wouldn’t blink to set them free.

After he got to Canada worked and sent money back home where he bought land for them to use and make a better living.
He didn't want to send them money to spend but rather buy something to make money with and something for us to move back to when the time came.
He had this dream of moving his whole family back when he had saved enough.

For forty years every cent that came off of those farms went to family there.
They would sent us some olive oil and olives every now and then but nothing near what they made.
My father helped his brother buy a taxi which he used to make money to buy an orchard with then two more when he prospered which his sons now care for.

Each an every one of his siblings he helped out including his sister when he sent her money too come here with but she took the money and eloped instead, with my mother's youngest brother.
I don;t think it was the money the got my father, he didn't like my uncle.
No one did and probably why they found him murdered in the woods a few years ago and still no suspects.
Well the do but there are 1200 suspects.

Two months ago his youngest sibling had a heart attack and after a quick surgery they managed to save him.
My father stood by his bed all strong and tough reading my uncle the riot act.
Now his sister is gone and he sits in his leather chair lost in his thoughts while everyone else around him talks.
As I look at him, his eyes betray his thoughts and I know where they are.
For him to watch his sibling pass away one at a time must be hard, after all, his father did leave him in charge.

Old school is tough and my old man is one of the toughest men I have ever met, so let me shed that tear for him, he is still on guard.
It's all about family.

Have a nice day



Shaz said...

That is so sad walker. Your father sounds like a trooper and a gentleman. You have some great traits from him. It must be very hard on him. I hope he gets through this okay.xx

Blazngfyre said...

"For him to watch his sibling pass away one at a time must be hard, after all, his father did leave him in charge."

That sentence sums it all up.

My heart goes out to your Father, you and your entire family.
You've had so much loss this past year Walker ... at some point, you need a break from it all.

Sending y'all much love

Patti said...

Walker I shed a tear for your father and for you also. I so admire anyone with the family values that you have.

gab said...

Your dad and mine come from the same old school. Although my dad finihed high school(he was the only one who did and he was youngest not oldest) He took care of his oldest brother who had taken care of their mom after their dad was killed by lightening. They had no indoors plumbing, and they too took a bath on Sat night weather theyneeded it or not.(Im sure they did lol)Anyways I have learned alot about my dads family through his stories although some I wonder at.

Anonymous Boxer said...

"Old school is a totally different world than we know today; it’s a way of life where survival was the job not the reward."

That is a great paragraph.

I'm sorry for your family and you have it so right; it's all about family.

My best to yours right now.

BikerCandy said...

Isn't it strange to watch our parents grieve but not really grieve? Times have changed so much and we are so much more free with our emotions. I often wish I was old school...

My thoughts and sympathies for you and your family.

Gypsy said...

I'm very sorry for your loss Walker and that of your family. I feel for your Dad that he can't bring himself to show his emotions. I'm glad that society has changed in the regard that men are "allowed" to cry now and it isn't seen as a bad thing. It makes for much healthier humans if they can be open with their feelings.

It's time someone looked after your parents for a change and I am so glad they have such a wonderful and caring son in you.