My father was discharged from the Army not long after he was drafted. This was many years ago. He received a medical discharge because he had an ulcer. I guess that was a viable reason for discharge at that time. I don’t know. My mother said he was discharged because he got drunk and that aggravated the ulcer. Who knows or cares what the true reason might have been? I don’t.
Because of this medical discharge my father was to receive a monthly check from the government for the rest of his life. I can’t remember how much the check was for, but I sure do remember many months sitting by the window and watching for the mailman to deliver it to our house. It came on approximately the same day of the month each time.
As I have told you in the past, my father was a chronic alcoholic who would start drinking and stay drunk for a week or more at a time. There were times during these episodes when he was basically an invalid unable do much more than lay in bed and demand more liquor at the top of his lungs. It was an awful site and situation.
After one of these episodes ended, another of his jobs would be lost and again we would have to move to another house. No salary means a lot of things, including no payment of rent or utilities.
Due to the drinking and all that went with it, we were more often poor than not. That’s where the government check came into such anticipated play. Many, many months due to the expenditures for alcohol, we had no money. The arrival of that check would mean some groceries for our table. The excitement of receiving “daddy’s government check” will forever remain in my mind.
Today I am awaiting the FedEx delivery truck. I am looking out my window and watching for its arrival. That truck will be bringing me another check. It’s not “daddy’s government check”. I’m not poor or broke. We have plenty of food for our table.
This check results from the sale of the home my family last lived in together and the only home we ever actually owned. The check is my portion of the proceeds from the sale. The sale of the home has no sentimental effect on me. I have too many bad memories of that place to pine for it. My father’s continued drinking and his continued abuse may haunt that place. My mother’s neglect and abuse and the results from her enabling my father’s drinking may haunt it too. No, I don’t care that the house was sold. For all means and purposes this sale ends any legal attachment I have to the rest of my family.
Today I wait for another check. It’s not “daddy’s government check” but it is the last check that connects me in any way to my dead father or the rest of my family. This will be the last time I will sit by my window and watch for anything that reminds me of my childhood. It’s finally over!