My Dad was eighty years old when the Lord called him home. That didn’t come as a surprise to my sister and I though because since our mother’s passing three years before, his health had taken a turn for the worst.
For the first fourteen years of my life, I grew up watching my mother verbally and physically abuse my dad.
One afternoon, my mother returned home a little earlier than usual and she was really upset. After my younger sister and I were sent to our bedroom, I could hear my mom quarrelling with my dad. She quarrelled with him for what seemed like a really long time then suddenly, there was only silence. I waited and waited, but no voice came.
“Stacy, I’m hungry,” my five-year-old sister said, looking up at me from her bed.
‘Shush…” I said, putting my finger to my lips before turning back and pressing my ears to the closed bedroom door. I listened and listened, but no voice came.
“Come, let’s go to the kitchen,” I said to my sister, before opening the door.
As we were about to enter the kitchen I could see my mother sitting at the dinner table. Her back was facing us. My dad was bracing against the sink. Then within the blinking of an eye, I saw a wine bottle flying across the air and hitting my father across his face. My sister saw it too and started to scream as she ran back into our bedroom. I was eight years old when that happened.
For a few months after that my mom was really kind to us and especially to my dad. Then, the verbal and physically abuse started all over again.
I also remember the day that I hurt him as well. My dad as usual was helping me with my Geography homework, but I was still struggling to grasp what the homework was all about. So, like my mom, I snapped out at him and called him a word that people uses when they think that a person is not acting wisely. My mom always calls him by that name.
For a long time after that day I was not able to erase the memories of the feelings that I saw on my father’s face. I had hurt him deeply. My father managed to compose his expression before saying,
“Let’s take a break,” and leaning over to me, he kissed me on the forehead.
“Daddy loves you,” he said, then getting up he headed for the front door.
“Don’t leave us daddy, I didn’t mean it, I’m sorry.” I cried, running after him.
My dad instantly turned around and grabbing me into his arms, said,
“I’m was just going out for some fresh air. I’m never going to leave you guys, you’re my family.”
“Okay,” he said, wiping away some of my tears.
I nodded yes.
That night I stayed awake in my bed until my dad returned home.
The first Sunday after that night, my dad, my sister and I started to attend Sunday School and Church. By the third Sunday, my mom started going to church with us.
“I don’t want people thinking that I am wicked,” she said, as her reasoning for coming with us.
Since that night I never saw my mother physically abusing my dad again and sometime after my fifteenth birthday the verbal abuse started to disappear. After my mother accepted the Lord as her personal Lord and Saviour, she checked herself into an alcoholic rehab centre.
My dad was an unsung hero.
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