One of the things I discovered; he's at peace. He seems happy. This puts me at peace and makes me happy.
Yes, he doesn't take care of himself. He's only 66, but yet seems older. That may be because of all the recent issues (I hope and pray!). And hopefully, once he gets the surgery, his health will improve.
But, despite everything, he's a good man. Reba McEntire says it best in her song - The Greatest Man I Never Knew. This so explains our relationship. Except, I want to change things. I want to have a relationship with him; before he's gone. And it saddens me to no end to realize that one day, he will be gone. But hopefully, not for a while; not till we get to know each other better.
It makes me so very sad to realize how many years we've missed. Yes, the family is totally dysfunctional. There have been many issues. But, after visiting with my dad - I realize that despite everything, he loves me. And, despite it all, I love him. He's the only parent I have left.
And I need to make more time for him. The others, well, I'm not ready for that commitment and, apparently, they aren't either as I didn't see or hear from them the whole week; and they knew I was there. Dad doesn't express his feelings (hmmmm, wonder where I get that from . . . ), but I now know that he loves me. He misses me. He loves me. He doesn't judge. I am who I am; and he loves me anyway. I can reciprocate now.
He does love me; I am a daddy's girl. I cried when I left him the other day. He's not the man I thought he was. He's even better.
We discovered we actually have things in common. We both like to putter around in the yard and grow things. We both like to do projects around the house - we discussed the merits of various stains, etc. We both like to read the same kinds of books.
I realized that this man is a veritable fountain of information. He knows things. He told me how to fix the bald spots in my yard easily. He told me what kind of fertilizer I should be using. He told me about some of the best tools for various projects. He told me many things. The things that a dad should know and share.
To see him at peace. To see him happy with his life. It makes me happy. I wish I could have put him in my pocket and brought him home with me.
My parents. They were not meant for each other. Apparently there was a passion there - but it wasn't a good kind of passion. I just wish that my mother could have lived long enough to find the peace that he has.
I can only pray that I find that same peace.
He has made some mistakes along the way (haven't we all?). But in the end - he's my dad. He's only human. As parents, haven't we all made mistakes? Raising children is not easy. I guess, it was easier to be absent than to deal with the hard stuff - like the (resentful and bitter) ex-wife and the rebellious teens. Especially when you don't know how to be there; because you weren't raised that way.
That's my dad. Making a log-cabin bird house. He said he'd send me pictures. I hope he does.
He loves me; I love him.
In the end, it will be all good.