Saturday 15 June 2013

How I learned to Paint, a Fathers day tribute.

I have often been asked how I learned to do what I do. Did I take classes or read a book or did someone teach me. 

I clearly remember being maybe 4 years old and living in an old farmhouse. One day (summer I think) my father was painting the basement door that led outside (a really nice red). I asked if I could help an he handed me a paint brush. The brush was HUGE. At least it was in my "4 year old minds eye". I dipped the brush and slapped on the paint. Then moved it around to cover the door. I don't think I did a very good job because my father was upset and told me I wasn't doing it right. I had to do long even strokes and not just glob it on. 
My very first painting lesson! 
I think I ended up in tears. 

Two lessons learned that day. Long even strokes and don't ask dad if I can "help" 

I try to look at things positively. 

I once heard someone say that you have two chances at a parent-child relationship. One is as a child (and you can't control that one) and the other is as a parent (you can control that one) 

Tomorrow is Fathers day. 
A day to remember and celebrate our fathers. 
This is mine.
 I think this is the only picture I have of all of us together. I'm the girl in the middle in the dress. 
Yes those are all my siblings. There are 6 of us. 
You would think that having so many kids my father would be awesome. 
ummm nope. 
I remember him being angry more than happy.
The yelling, the dirty looks, the lectures the beatings. 
I remember trying to please him and never quite living up to his idea of who I should be. 
I remember the drinking. 

So fathers day for me, has always been, bitter sweet. 
I soooo wanted a dad that would love me for me, who would love me unconditionally. 

I did eventually come to terms with it. I realized that he did the best he knew how to. I forgave him. I then forgave me for not being perfect and I accepted that our relationship (his and mine) was meant to be to teach me to be a better parent myself. 

Then he got sick. 
He became very sick. He thought he'd had a heart attack. 
They took xrays.
They found cancer. 

Our relationship changed. 
I struggled. 
Here was a man I did the best to keep out of my life, away from my children yet maintain some sort of relationship with, without totally cutting him out. 
Now he was dying. 

So my life was put on hold. 
I went to see him, almost daily. 
His wife of almost 30 years was getting to old to really take care of him. I did a lot. 
5-6 days a week I drove 2 hours to his house and 2 hours back. I swear my car knew the roads better than I did. 

I did this for 4 months. 
He mellowed, I mellowed. 
We talked, or he talked. 
After 4 months of cancer....he died. 
3 years ago just before fathers day. 

I don't want to leave this on a sad note though. 
I have some amazing fathers in my life. 
My father in law!
As you can see he is a bit of a goof when he wants to be. :) 
He also raised an amazing family. A son whom I love dearly and is a bit of a goof himself. 
These are probably two of the most important fathers in my life and both have taught me what it means to love unconditionally. 

If there is a father in your life whom you love without reservation and who knows what love really is...and can make you smile at the drop of a hat, even when your day isn't what you hoped it would be. Do something special for them and hang on tight, these kinds of guys are not always easy to find :) 
Happy Fathers day to my father in law Mike and my wondrously amazing husband Rolf :) 
I love you both! 


  1. very nice Titia!

  2. Father's Day is always bittersweet for those of us not blessed with the kind of Father we would have liked to have; but know other Father's who are irreplaceable.

  3. I cried when I read this. I had a rocky relationship with my father too. Thanks God for step-fathers and other men in our lives.

    1. I'm so sorry, I didn't mean to make you cry. I just find being honest is great and I know that there are others out there that feel the same way. (hugs)