We only have one mother and one father – I mean real ones…
Not someone who married one of your parents after they split. It’s tough being a child to a parent. Too many parents expect way too much. And often parents live vicariously through their offspring.
My father, Stan, was the kind of parent who just didn’t want to be one.
People who know him and my brothers say Stan Glazer was a terrible father.
Without a doubt. All three of his sons – me included – ended up in prison at one point or another.
Not his fault, but he was the head coach if you follow that line of thinking. However to simply blame a parent for all of our problems isn’t fair either.
We all make choices right.
My dear friend Debbie Mandry – aka The Mermaid – who has been a regular reader and contributor to this website in the comments section, was told a few days ago her mother has a very serious, life threatening illness. Out of respect I won’t go more into the details, but she’s of course crushed. Her father is also very ill. Debbie will now have to take care of both her parents. Likely move into their home and out of her own.
Debbie, like me and many of you, had many issues with her mother.
Now that this has happened it reminds Debbie, as it has or will most of us, how much we do love and care for our father and mother in the end. Even when they put us down or say and do many mean things. In the end these are really the two people we strive so hard to please most of our lives.
Even when they are gone.
In my case, even after lawsuits and huge arguments with my father where we didn’t speak for years, he’s still my dad. I lost my mother in 2007 unexpectedly. Very painful. I at least wanted her to see my book come out, but she died a few months before that happened and before we opened our comedy club at the Legends in 2007.
We did get to say goodbye to each other in the hospital. That was extremely hard on me. You just don’t know what you have until it’s gone. So out of respect to her and wanting to do the right thing, I forgave my Dad all his many indiscretions. We speak almost daily and still argue. He still puts me down way too much – it’s just his nature.
Example: "Dad, I just got nominated for an Academy Award!" And my father would say, "Well son, it’s about time. If you’re any good you’ll at least get one more."
That’s Stan for you…
My dad is now in his late 70’s. He’s in good health, but time is running out. His wife is a wonderful lady, much younger, early 40’s. They have had a great life together it seems. I have to say when the chips were down, my father would be there for me.
It’s just all the other times when he wasn’t that hurt.
But hey, that’s life. We live, we learn. My brother Jeff has the two greatest young men I have maybe ever met. They’re 14 and 16. Nothing like we were. Jeff has been a good parent. He’s a "do as I tell you for your own good, don’t follow in my footsteps" type of father. His boys are 4.3 students and always have been great – and I mean great – athletes. Jake is a top 20 tennis player, a No. 1 seed at Shawnee Mission East in his sophomore/junior year. He is in the top 20 in the mid-west.
The younger boy, Alex, is a premier soccer player, point guard in basketball and star baseball player. Neither boy has ever been in trouble. Ever. Not even one call from a teacher or principal.
How can they be related to me and my brothers? I think I was already a criminal by age 16. Had been in jail, been in trouble at school a million times and so on…
Parents are the first ones we call with good news and bad.
If you’re like me, I’ll bet you’ve reached for that phone to call a parent to tell them something and then you remember, "My mom is gone."
I don’t look forward to having no living parent or grandparent, but it will happen. It comes to us all. So find time for them while they are still with you. I do.
What was that Cat Stevens song? "The Cats in the cradle and the silver moon……."
Hey dad, I’d love to see you if I could find the time. See, my new job’s a hassle and the kids are in school. But it’s sure nice talking to you, dad. Sure nice talking to you.