The last dozen or so years have been a strain on Heather and I as far as family and friends go. We seem to have reached an age where we are saying more good-byes then hello’s. A large part of what I’m dealing with, and why I am writing this blog, has to do with that. But, one hello that I have really enjoyed has been having the opportunity to get to know my dad.
For a lot of years, we didn’t really have a relationship to speak of, and I could say this or that, or blame this or that, but the reality is, I made a choice to not have one, to not press through my own hurt, real or imagined, to get to know him. Heather, in her quiet like way, pressed and prodded me to take every chance and opportunity to bridge the distance between him and I, and I, kicking and screaming at times even though I knew she was right, appreciate that she never backed down from this.
In the last 8 or so years, my dad and I have covered a lot of ground, rebuilding our relationship as father and son and I have learned a lot about the man that for years was a giant mystery. He likes to fish, he plays the guitar, he is an accomplished news guy with several Emmy’s under his belt, he has a warped sense of humor, he had a pretty messed up childhood, he tried to do the best he could as he saw things, and yet he has his faults, mistakes, the things he would have done differently, choices he would have made another way…
In short, he was just like me.
It’s been really cool having him as an active part of my life, and I am grateful that we both took the chance to walk down this road together. I can’t imagine how difficult it has been for him, but for that, I’m thankful. Life is too short to not to take the risk of getting to know someone as well as you can, especially when they are your family.
I’d just like to finish by saying that with all of the goodbyes I have said in the last few years, this has been a hello that I am truly blessed by.