Wednesday Jun 06 2012
To the best dad in the world, happy Father's Day!
By: Carol Feineman,Editor
A parent?s job is never done, even as their children become adults. And their help is often provided when their adult children think they don?t need it. In hindsight, I know. I?m not proud that I needed help from my parents when I was 22. After all, I graduated early from the University of Florida a year before and landed a job as a newspaper features editor a few weeks later. And, after a whirlwind romance, I married a dentist from the prestigious Northwestern University, a week after graduating college. My friends were jealous of me for having a career and a husband right out of college. And my parents and other relatives were proud of my apparent success as a 22-year-old. I believed the hype and thought life was rather perfect. Except for one hiccup. My new husband had a lot of hidden anger and took it out by hitting me. Hard. Back in Florida, during the late 1970s, no one talked about domestic violence. It was a taboo subject. My parents had no idea what was happening in my apartment. I lived an hour away and hid my bruises well. Or so I thought. My parents, being the most caring and compassionate individuals I know, quickly realized that my life was spiraling out of control. Even though I would not admit it. They were determined to do whatever it took to bring me to a safer place. So my father, at age 57, gave up a good engineering job he was at for almost 20 years in St. Petersburg, Fla. and accepted a job on the other side of the country, in an unknown San Jose company. He knew that was probably the only way to get me away from the abusive relationship I was in. My altruistic parents left their family, friends and comfortable lifestyle in St. Petersburg, a city they called home for almost two decades, for the unknown. All so I would be away from a dangerous situation. That?s a big sacrifice to make. Yet my parents never once talked or complained about the sacrifices they were making in my behalf. Because, even in my 20s, I was their top priority. It turns out I did need my parents? help, even as a 22-year-old with an inflated ego. My dad embarked on a new engineering career in California at an age when many of his peers were retiring with gold watches and new golf clubs. He did very well in his renewed career as at least 15 Silicone Valley companies recruited him during the next 18 years. But once again, my dad paused his career and my parents left their San Jose area friends to follow me to Northern California. They moved to be closer to me so they could take care of my daughters after school while I worked long hours as a single mom. That meant my parents uprooted their lives for me again, to make my everyday routines more manageable for me and ensure that my own children were safe and happy. This was of course at a time in my parents? lives when they should have been enjoying long vacations and lazy days instead of making life easier for me. A parent?s love only gets stronger. It?s a gift I treasure 24/7. Happy Father?s Day, dad! And to every father, I hope you have a nice holiday.