Worthington’s father’s life was tragically shaped around his inability to read. Being a hard worker and supporting your family wasn’t all that was needed to make a man feel like he was fulfilling his place as a husband and a father. When his father pulled him out of school, he had him start doing a man’s job on the farm, without even receiving a first grade level education.
Being a man and working to help his family, there was one thing that his son admired about his father the most, his hands, “His hands were rough and exceedingly strong… But what I remember most of is the special warmth from those hands soaking through my shirt…They were good hands that served him well and failed him in only one thing: they never learned to write. ” When Worthington’s mother went out of town, his father watched over them. He went to the store to pick up something for dinner.
After wards he told his children that he had a surprise for dessert, the dessert turned out to be a can of Whole White Potatoes. “The picture looked just like pears,” said his father. This embarrassed him a great deal. Being illiterate was a handicap for him, making himself look like a fool in front of his child. Years later his mother passed away and his father became very sick, he had several heart problems. Worthington and his new family moved overseas for a new job and home.
Three weeks later, his father passed away and he returned home alone for the funeral. Doc Green was sorry, and explained that his father had just been given a new prescription of nitroglycerin and it was nowhere to be found on him. If it would have been taken possibly he could be alive. “An hour before the chapel service, I found myself standing near the edge of Dad’s garden, where a neighbor had found him. In grief, I stopped to trace my fingers in the earth where a great man had reached the end of his life.
My hand came to rest on a half-buried brick, which I aimlessly lifted and tossed aside, before noticing underneath it the twisted and battered, yet unbroken, soft plastic bottle that had been beaten into the soft earth. ” He pictured his father struggling trying to get the bottle open for just one pill. “I knew why those big warm hands had lost in their struggle with death. For there, imprinted on the bottle cap, were the words, “Child-Proof Cap – Push Down and Twist to Unlock. ” Being illiterate was something that held him back his entire life, and it cause him to lose his life as well.