Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Our Father's Keeper

Factual stories from life are awesome.  But many people think that when an older person tells one of these time pieces, the story seems so strange that it must be fiction.  That means that they consider the older person telling the story to be a bull slinger or their bubble just hatched.  This is one of those old stories that the recently hatched find hard to believe.  

Many years ago I had Greek neighbors, both Greek born and naturalized United States citizens.  The Mister fought the Nazis in Greece during WWII, and made a stand as a partisan against the communist incursion.  He also was quite gregarious, liked the ladies more then he should have, and was a nasty drunk.  The Missus, it was said, did what she could to encourage his behavior.  Well, we all have our weaknesses.  The had one child, a son.  

Their son was a graduate of one this country's leading schools for culinary arts and he was really good at it, but inherited many of his father's behavioral traits.  He was married at a young age to a Greek girl.  Soon after the birth of their second child, he was smacked down by a nasty divorce.  The divorce served to escalate his negative behavior, making good employment hard to come by.  But let's fast forward to the really strange stuff.  

The son developed pancreatic cancer, but it was caught early and put into remission.  This hardship brought about an awakening of sorts for the son; all he wanted to do was to live the rest of his life at piece with the world.  Then he found a woman who really loved him as much as he loved her.  They decided to marry and went to his parents to bless their nuptials.  Unfortunately, they did not get it.  The problem - the girl was not Greek.  After hours of arguing and debating with the parents, the son and his fiancee left.  When the parents discovered that their son had married against their wishes, they disowned him.  It gets worse.

Two years after the son married, his pancreatic cancer came back and this time it took his life.  The newly minted widow was forced to confront the parents about their son's passing.  As she stood at the front door dressed in black, the reticent parents got the message; tears flowed like water over Niagara Falls.  What a shame.  Five years later the father died very quickly, from pancreatic cancer.  

When my father's side of the family emigrated from Austria, it was decided that many of the old customs would be kept in their new country that were felt practical while others were to be tossed away.  However, my paternal grandparents desired that their children wed folks from Burgenland (area in and around Graz, Austria).  Out of seven kids, only one son married a girl who emigrated with her parents from Burgenland.  If my grandparents were upset at their other kids for marrying outside of their Burgenland expectations, it never showed.  And according to my father, it really never was an issue.

This is certainly not any kind of knock against Greek Folks.  But it is a really sad story about thickheaded people who cannot see the face that stands in front of them.

                                                     Copyright @2015 Terry Unger




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