Change in Parents

Alex Gaines

The phone calls his mom received were met by words he did not understand, but they did not bother him. Patrick lived something of a carefree childhood, living on a military base for his first few years of life, always fighting with his 4 brothers and frustrating his Dad, who was in the marines, and much to the annoyance of his mother, who wished she had at the very least- one girl.

Patrick had always assumed his parents had meet in the country which he stayed in until his was in Middle School, Germany, but it wasn’t until much later in his life that he actually discovered the true origins of his parents, his mother from Germany and his father from the US, and many historical facts about them. Of course his mom was more open about talking such things, she sometimes talked about staying in bomb shelters during the War, or how it annoyed her that her relatives never picked up on the English language.

However his father, who had played football for the University of South Carolina, talked very little about his army experience or experience growing up. He was too busy maintaining and disciplining his often rowdy boys, busy trying to maintain a job and a household with 5 children to care for. Something, Patrick jests, I took for granted back then. Now a father, he understands why his Dad would get very agitated with him from time to time.

It’s interesting that we only discover so much about our heritage and our parents once we are grown up, and these people have left our life. It was only after his Father’s death did he actually discover his parents met at a bar in St. Louis, and that his mom had been living in the US for a few years at that point.

We as a culture don’t think that far back about the histories of our elders and peers. We know what they are, Patrick’s mother Rosemarie was his mom, and she lived in Fayetville. I felt kinda bad that I didn’t learn the language, he recounts, but I never really needed to when I lived there.

Like his mother, his Father Corky didn’t talk about his long military career much, he was very quiet when it came to that matter, unlike his normal ambient state. We change with our interests in people as we grow up, as we realize how much more interesting some once bland careers or people are. We look at changed people like the mother who takes care of 5 boys or the father that doesn’t speak about his career, and we have to decide ourselves how they changed and why that is, if our prodding questions can never get to the core. People change because of their situations, their change of mind, and their awareness of the world. Perhaps one day you will try and discover why you’re parent acted the way they did or how your sibling grew up.

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