I never got to know my father like I sometimes wish I could have. I have vague flash memories of him but nothing substantial. He never taught me anything or made me feel special on any level. I think he liked me, especially because I was his son, but he wasn’t wired to have connection. He was my dad though and I’ll never have another.
I guess his only form of affection was this weird little six word lyric he would sing. It went “I like you, you are good”. The idea was after he said it the recipient (I heard this doled on my sisters, too) would hum it back to him. It seemed bizarre then and even more so now that I think about it but I suppose he created it as a means of affection. The only kind from him.
I don’t remember a hug or even a high five. I know his father was a mean drunk and would belittle and abuse him as a young boy. His mother died when he was two so this horrible style of “parenting” was all he knew. He probably went above and beyond with us kids, knowing his traumatic experiences with his own father. He did what he did but I don’t consider it good enough in the least.
I know he could have done better because with me having him as my road map to being a dad sucked yet I excelled. I succeeded in raising my children where he didn’t even scratch the surface. I looked at the example I was given, crumpled it up, tossed it over my shoulder and developed my own version of what I thought a father should be. I changed the game within, no doubt, a long history of piss poor fathers with no idea how to parent a child. I didn’t redeem him but I sure as heck broke the cycle.
All of the above said I want him back. He passed alone in 2002 and I hadn’t seen him in eight years. He never met his grandkids. He never knew me as an adult. I’d no doubt have a motorcycle if he was around since he always did. We’d go on long road trips and get to know each other. He’d talk of also attaining sobriety and be never healthier. He’d have his shortcomings and still be somewhat of an island but at least I’d know him and he would know me.
Sadly, reality states that what’s done is done and none of that will happen. None of it can be fixed or undone, only forgiven. I never hated the guy, only his lack of ability to father and parent according to what I had required. He was thrust into a situation where he didn’t know up from down but hey, if it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t be here today to write about him or to spend fathers day with his grandchildren. Love ya, Dad.