Keller: Old school isn’t always best

Published 8:38 am Sunday, February 16, 2020

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Fourteen years ago, after being released from the hospital, I was stopped by a man I had occasionally seen, but didn’t know his name. “How are you feeling?” he asked. Evidently he knew I recently had surgery for colon cancer.

“I’m doing fine. The cancerous tumor was removed, I didn’t need a colostomy, and I won’t need chemotherapy. God’s been good to me.”

Before I could resume my walking, he continued, “My dad died a few years ago from colon and bladder cancer.” Without hesitation he added, “When my dad was on his deathbed, my wife and I went to visit him. Before entering the room, my wife said that it was time for me to make amends with my dad. I told her that I didn’t know if I could do that.”

He then described his relationship with his dad. “My dad was from ‘the old school.’ He ruled our house with this! (He made a clenched fist.) The abuse I suffered left a scar, but not deeper than the abuse he dished out to my mom. He would beat her, sometimes for no reason. I hated him for that. Maybe hate is not the right word. Those memories still bring back pain, but I thank God for my last visit with my dad. I took my wife’s advice and made amends to the best of my ability.”

He continued, “I told my dad that I forgave him for everything he ever did to me and my mom. I then told him, ‘You know, Dad, the only thing I ever wanted to hear from you is that you loved me.’ I wanted his approval and love so much.”

As we parted ways, he said, “I guess my dad loved me the only way he could.”

He repeated, “You know, he was from ‘the old school.’”

As I continued my walk, I thought – ‘the old school.’ I wondered how many graduates from ‘the old school’ destroyed families, many without the chance to make amends.

If you have any questions or comments, please write to Harold Keller at Get High on Life, P.O. Drawer U, Reserve, LA 70084, or call (985) 652-8477.