My son and I have a lengthy conversation last evening where we spoke candidly of my father's imperfections, his growing older and mellower with age - all good things. My father and mother divorced many years ago and my father has since remarried and is very happy with his sweet wife. I was fortunate to meet her and spend time with the two of them last year. It was for all intents and purposes a reunion of sorts and should have been a lovely trip.
Unfortunately, I had not planned on my father drinking a little too much one night and becoming teary and nostalgic, asking the same questions he has asked aloud for years - namely, he wonders why no-one in the family speaks to him.
It is simple - we have all suffered beatings at his hands, one of my sisters was even taken out of the home in adolescence after having been molested repeatedly by my father. It was a tempestuous time and we, that is, the remaining 4 sisters, were mortified when we realized that we would no longer be living with our beloved sister - instead, we were relegated to weekend visitation at Cumberlowe Lodge - a girls' home. Years later, we realized that she had been molested (we did not know this at the time) and for the most part, severed ties with our father.
I have a fair relationship with my father, mostly due to having learned the miracle of forgiveness and having spent many years in therapy. It has been a very long road - no, it is not a done deal, but we are certainly making headway.
I thank God for my oldest son, his vision, wisdom and insight that help me to keep my eyes on the prize and stay focused on what is important in life - thanks Ry - you are an amazing young man.