makes me sad
My dad spent most of his adult life in the military; two years in the Army, and over twenty years in the Air Force. His mode of service required him to be deployed a lot of the time, and when he was home, he needed to assert his authority.
my siblings and my mom wouldn’t have that. This resulted in my dad wrongfully being viewed as the enemy. My dad and I didn’t learn to understand or talk to each other until my mom died when I was in my mid-forties.
And it wasn’t always pretty, we were very much alike, but our differences were enough to cause us to lock horns on many occasions. we learned though, and we built a very strong relationship the twelve years after my mom died.
My dad was diagnosed with cancer in 2006. A lifelong smoker, it started in his lungs but metastasized to every cell in his body. In less than six weeks he was gone.
I miss his stories and his jokes. I miss hearing him rant and rave at the T.V. I miss him reading the Tampa Bay Times aloud. Railing against “The liberal rag.”
I felt like I had been robbed. My dad and I finally learned to understand and talk to each other and he died when he was sixty-nine years old. To this day I imagine the conversations we could have had.
He never got to see me find someone and get married, he was so concerned about that. So many things we both missed.
I understood too late, that my dad had acquired a lot of wisdom in his 69 years of living, if I had him to consult with, I wouldn’t have made the many mistakes I made after he died.
If I could wish anything for whoever is reading this, it would be to make peace with your parents if you can. I am so grateful that my dad and I made peace and learned how to show love to each other. I just wish we had more time.