My father is dying.

We’ve known it for a while now.  I may have even posted about it before now, though I don’t recall for sure and can’t be buggered to go back and check.  However, things are getting worse and I fear this may be his last holiday season.

I’m not extremely close to my father, like my wife was with her mother who passed several years ago.  I don’t know if that makes it easier or harder, honestly.  I suppose I won’t truly know until my mother passes.  On the one hand, it’s not as big of a direct impact, if that makes any sense.  I don’t speak with my father nearly as often or see him as frequently.  I don’t rely as much on his counsel.  However, there’s the guilt.  I spent a lot of time angry at my dad.  He was unfaithful to my mother for a long time and when I found out, it hurt a lot.  Seeing the pain in my mother made me hate him for years.  They reconciled and I eventually forgave him, but those are now lost years.  Years I’ll never be able to get back.

There’s also the guilt of not being closer to him.  He is my father, after all.  My male role model.  Sure we’ve had our bonding times.  We used to go up and cut wood every weekend.  Those day trips with just the two of us were good.  He helped me as a cub scout and was so proud when I got my Arrow of Light.  He was always there when I needed him most.  But as I got older, we grew apart and stopped doing much of anything together.  I suppose that happens with teens.  It’s just hard to deal with now.

In the past few years, especially since I’ve been married, we’ve connected more.  I still don’t have the knowledge to talk with him about cars and guns, and forget about politics, but we’ve found other things we can connect over.  TV and Movies, knives, the zompocalypse and family.  It’s great to see the way he looks at my son.  It’s horrible to think that they’ll never really get to know each other.  I only hope that I can honor my father’s memory and be there for him as well my dad was for me.

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1 Comment

Filed under life, Parenting, Philosophy

One response to “My father is dying.

  1. Oh honey. Seeing you hurt…well, hurts. That doesn’t mean hide it. It’s part of life but it sucks. I really hoped we somehow wouldn’t have to go through this again for a good long time – like, when your parents are 90 or something. I can understand the guilt. You know my relationship with my own dad and I can put myself in your shoes and see it. I know you have lost years, but…I think, as an adult, you’ve learned a lot more about him than you otherwise might have. As if you met him as an adult, not as a child.

    I think you will be a good father to our son (I must or I would have refused to marry you!) in all the ways you can. I also know that you worry on this, that you won’t be as good as you should be…and I think I can safely say that almost all parents feel that way. I KNOW you. I know what kind of man you are, and I know what kind of father you have shown yourself to be so far, even when the child doesn’t understand the things you do. It will be well.

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