My Father

It has taken me a while to get it. I mean, my father and I did not have the best relationship as I was growing up. The teenage years were particularly rough, and it was with much anger and bitterness that I left the family home in my fourth year of university.

That could have been it. I could have simply never picked up the phone or visited. I could have insisted that we not see each other. But, thankfully, I didn’t.

Since then, I have learned much about my father. I have learned that he is devoted to his friends and, most of all, to his family. I have learned that he is admired by many for his selflessness, his ability to bring people together and his generosity. I have learned why my mother loves him so, as do so many others. I have learned that he is not perfect.

That was the first, and the hardest, lesson of all. We grow up with the notion that our parents know everything, that they are infallible, that they can do no wrong. It was difficult for me to understand this reality. Once I discovered this, in my teenage years, I focused solely on the imperfections of my father, and ignored the rest (or, more appropriately, the best).

As I made my own life, got married, bought a house, I started to recognize those qualities that everyone else praised about my father. Through rounds of golf, where we would spend hours in each other’s company, or when he would come over with my mother to visit his first grandchild, I would discover who he truly was.

Later, I even had the opportunity to do something that not many sons have. I joined my father’s hockey league, where we were able to play on the same team for several seasons. Even if we did not interact much (I am a defenceman and he is a forward), the simple pleasure of being in each other’s company was enough. We have developed a friendship and a mutual respect for each that I never could have pictured as a teenager.

I am glad, truly glad, that I did not simply shut out my father from my life. I just want him to know that I admire his many qualities and hope that I can one day emulate his zest for life, his generosity and his unequivocal devotion to family and friends. I also thought that it is best that I say this now, and not wait until it is too late.

It took years, but I finally see my father for who he was and who he is. An imperfect man, but one who tries his best to be at his best.

Here are Jen’s thoughts on her dad.

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One Response to “My Father”

  1. Christina Says:

    More kleenex please! I hope your Dad is following your blog!

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