04 February 2012

Superheroes suck

I don't understand the fascination with them. I don't like them. I think it is a waste of time, money, and energy. I pair them with vampires and werewolves, except that I allow the action figures in the house for the sake of the kids. Real life has no place for these fantasies.

The only superheroes that ever came to my rescue were my dad, and my adoptive parents.

I have been skipping around a bit, when it comes to talking about my family, but that isn't perogative. It doesn't mean I value anyone less than the rest, it just means their turn is yet to come. I have several people question about why Girl hasn't been written about..... And there was a question about my older sister, too. Don't freight, I'll get to them soon.

Most people don't hear about my dad. He was in my life for a short amount of time, only 7 years. The first 7. So, I did get the opportunity to realize what I'd be missing. I was a kid, thought id have him forever.
Just as nothing prepares you for the loss of your child, nothing prepares you for the loss of a parent, especially as a kid.

Back to the beginning. My dad was older than most, by the time I came along. He and my birth mother had been together for about a year when they got pregnant. He was 37, she was 25. My birth mother was not into the idea of a kid, but she went along with it, because my dad wanted kids, and refused to pay for an abortion.
They were pretty nomadic, and they lived out of the car, and cheap motels/apartments when he found more long term work. I was actually born in a motel along I-95, near DC.
The only documentation of my birth, for 3 years, was an entry into my dad's journal. My dad loved being a parent, but my birth mother was less than thrilled with the new responsibility.
Even still, 3 years later, my little brother entered the world, in less than ideal circumstances. The relationship had soured, and with the prospect of having to raise two kids, my birth mother bolted, when my brother was about 6weeks old.
My dad, a tradesman with skills in welding and construction, struggled. He ended up getting a small studio apartment in the Midwest, and worked 16hr days, between construction jobs, and maintenance work at the apartment complex, just to keep us clean, clothed, and fed. Even still, he struggled to take care of two little boys. He had no means of childcare, and no way to afford it, so there were occasions that I was put in charge, even as a little kid. Times were different back then, though.

Around the time the jobs started to dry up, and we were threatened with eviction, my dad was approached by one of the construction bosses who knew my dad's story, and knew he was on the verge of losing everything, as child services had begun coming around. His brother and his wife had been unable to have their own children, and were interested in adopting my little brother. It was the toughest decision he ever had to make, but he knew he could not keep both of us, without the state swooping in, so, just after my brother turned two, the adoption was finalized.
I don't think he ever recovered from that, but he knew, and I now understand, that it was for the best. My brother went to a family with love to spare, a place where he had his own bed, in his own room, in a real house. He was guaranteed to never go hungry.

We had about 6 months together before he got sick, and ended up in the hospital, and I ended up with child services. I was 5.5 years old. I was placed with a foster family that was less than pleasant. And after a particular altercation between me and their 12yo son, involving his anger issues, his foot, and me, I was placed with my parents.
I was lucky.
As my dad got sicker, they made sure I got to see him, going out of their way to make sure I got to see him. They knew what I had yet to be told: my dad had lung cancer, and, back then, there were no options for him. The hospital tried a few things, but ultimately, they failed. A few months after my 7th birthday, during one of our guitar lessons, my dad took a bad turn, and within several weeks, I effectively became an orphan.

The work he had been doing all my life, to better my life, had effectively destroyed his. It was most likely the welding, and the asbestos from construction that had caused his cancer.
He was the one that taught me to play the guitar and piano. His love of the Beatles, and all the other great bands of his time inspired my love of music, even though it took several years before I could play the (his) guitar again. He is the one who instilled my values into me. He taught me more in those 7 short years than anyone else could have.

He was my superhero, and he said he'd always be there for me. He lied, and I never forgave him for that. I vowed to never have a superhero ever again. And I never will.


  1. So very sad and touching, and kind of the inverse situation of my Hubby who's father abandoned him when he was a teenager, and his mother probably should have given him and his sister up to child's service, but kept moving so much that they were never tracked down. They grew up in and out of cars, living at friends' houses on livingroom couches, and sometimes their own apartments. Even before their dad left, they were out there earning money for the family by helping him on the construction sites or picking fruit in the orchards; anything to help. And both of them really do have a good work ethic and are eager to help others, especially others in need, because of these negative experiences. But, like I said, at the first sign of conflict, their mom would pack them up and move them, probably to ward off a visit from family services. That was how she was, and it really saddens me to know this. I think my Hubby always wanted a superhero and would get lost in the worlds because it gave him something that he didn't get growing up: hope. So, yeah, he would buy and read comics and enjoys playing superhero video games and such. It creates a great escape for some kids. So, I may disagree on the importance of superheroes and such in the culture at large, but I totally understand it in your life. I feel so much sorrow for the little boy who's superhero father was shown to be oh so mortal ... wonderful but mortal. My heart goes out to you.


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