Last night, my husband and a friend were watching the movie The Avengers in our home. As I sat down to join them, Iron Man was flying toward the sky with a nuclear warhead in his arms, risking his own life to save Manhattan. I know this sounds silly since it’s a Hollywood movie, but my thoughts went to my father.
Growing up, I had no one to look up to when things frightened or hurt me — and I had a childhood filled with fearful, hurtful things. When dealing with my mother’s relentless physical and mental abuse, I thought that nothing and no one could save me or help me to find peace and happiness.
Last night as I watched Iron Man flying up to save the city and the world, it reminded me of when I was in my early teens and my father — rough, tough, and untamed — walked into my life and took away all of my pain, if only for a moment. With all that was going on in his own life, this beautiful man came to my rescue. He didn’t need to care, but he did. He took me in, helped me, and resurrected my soul.
My time with my father was just a temporary escape from the violence and victimization that continued in my life, but I’m convinced he saved me from certain death. Regardless of what others may think of his tainted past, my father has always been, to this day, the one person who has given me the strength and inspiration to carry on.