Monday, February 22, 2016

My father

My father and I had a complicated relationship. I truly don't think he liked me very much, and that made it hard to deal with as I was growing up. I also think he did his best, so I've come to accept him with his faults and frailties, something I wish he had been able to do with me all those years ago. But regardless, he was my father and although it was a difficult thing, I still loved him in a way different from the love I have for the other special people in my life, but born of gratitude and appreciation for my life as well as his.

He was a man of contradictions: very smart, but not always wise; generous, but also selfish; visionary but also short-sighted...you get the idea. He was in my ways an enigma, the result of a complicated childhood, diverse genetic make-up, and the desires of self-preservation. He caused me a great deal of pain growing up and I never knew the unconditional love of a father, but still, he was mine. And I am, in many ways, him.

Today would have been his 91st birthday had he lived long enough. When I look in the mirror I often see him staring back at me, and when I look at my children I recognize some of his attributes and mannerisms. So he's never far from my thoughts. I wish he had lived longer if only so I could have continued to work on this complicated relationship. But from my side, I still do.

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