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07/27/2016 11:45 am ET Updated Jul 28, 2017

A Phone Call With My Elderly Father From Prison

What is the most awkward conversation you have had with your parents? originally appeared on Quora - the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights.

Answer by Kittie Eubank, on Quora:

Talking to my dad on the phone is awkward. He's seventy-six years old and in federal prison for firearms charges.

He always said he was 5 feet, 13 inches. Guess he was telling the truth.

I was always a Daddy's girl. My mom wasn't exactly a positive force around our home and we weathered the storm together. We would go fishing or work on cars to get out of the house when she was on a rampage. We didn't talk much, but we didn't need to.

I could do no wrong in my father's eyes. I was the "purtiest", the smartest, the best at everything, always. The rare occasions he stood up to my mother were to try to protect me.

My dad is a decorated Vietnam veteran - an Airborne Ranger in the U.S. Army. He is quite a guy.

He was a prescription morphine addict by the time I graduated high school. Since then, he has overdosed multiple times and gone through rehab repeatedly. He's been in and out of mental institutions. He's had it rough over the years.

The last time I saw my dad was about a year ago. I surprised him at the RV park where he was living in south Mississippi. I hadn't seen him in a few years. The visit started out great and tanked from there. It culminated in me calling 911 on the second day because my dad held a knife to my throat, and then pointed a gun at his own head and at other people.

He spent the night in the drunk tank and I came home the next morning. It was a couple of months later when he got arrested on federal charges and went to prison.

Now he has another twenty-one months to serve. I doubt he'll live that long. I send him cards and letters about once a week, and he calls me every couple of weeks. Calls from prison are pre-paid and expensive: I pay about $1 for every 3 minutes we're on the phone.

He doesn't hear well (hasn't for years) and it's noisy where he is. Our conversations go something like:

Hi Daddy. How are you doing?...

Hi Baby Girl, how are you?...

I'm still breathing...

Are you eating?...

How's work?...

Nah, it's sandwiches again...

Going good, my annual rev-...

How's Jim-Bob?...

Did you finally get to see the doctor?...

He's great, he said to...

Yeah, the arm is broken...

He got a new job...

How are the grandkitties; still six of them...

Oh no! Did they set it?...

He better treat you good...

Yes, Jack is so cute, he likes to...

No, it's been too long, already healed too much...

Gosh, that's terrible...

It hurts pretty bad but I'll be alright...

I love you, Baby. You take care...

I love you too, Daddy...

Bye now...

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