It’s funny when you realize you finally have the relationship with your Dad that you always wanted. I’ve had some family issues going on with my Mom, which is nothing new, so I stopped by my Dad’s house on the way home, for the simple reason that I didn’t want to go home. Two hours later it hit me that this is the way I’ve always wanted it to be.
I don’t remember a lot about my Dad as a kid. It could that my memories have faded over time, or it could be that we just didn’t do a lot together. The family pictures I have say that we actually did do a lot together, but I just don’t remember much of it. When my folks divorced in 1975, Dad moved to the West Coast and from then on I only saw him once a year.
My stepmom and he moved here when I was 32 and I thought it was really cool. For the first time in a long time, I could actually see my Dad whenever I wanted. Hell, they lived close enough for me to walk over there. Unfortunately, things didn’t go so well. Dad was busy trying to get his business started and I was busy working, plus he ended up costing me a few hundred dollars when one business tanked. For the next 10 years, we got closer, but it was hard because all of sudden my Dad wanted to be a parent, and I felt I didn’t need one. I’d done fairly well for myself without him and resented him when he tried to give me advice. I also had a lot of anger from the divorce and other crap that happened over the years.
Over time, though, things started to get better. I think it was that as I got older, I realized that he was also getting older. I’d never noticed it before, but when I did, it hit me that Dad’s not going to be here forever so I can either let the old crap go or just keep hanging on to it. I decided to let go and am glad I did.
We’ve had some great times over the last 4 or 5 years, but something about today really stood out. It might have been that he just let me talk and get the toxic crap out of my system. It might have been when he said that we talk about stuff that neither of us has shared with others. It might have been the hug we had right before I left. Or it might have been that I finally realized my Dad was the Dad I’d wanted him to be all along.