Today’s my father’s birthday. He would have been 79.
He’s been gone a while , almost 26 years. Even now, my feelings about him are complicated. I loved him and I know he loved me, but he could be a difficult man to be around. To his friends, he was a happy, funny guy, quick with a joke or a sarcastic comment. In private he was often miserable. I’m not sure why–he never talked about it to me. But I suspect it had a lot to do with his own childhood.
He was never abusive to me, at least not physically. When he was angry, though, his words could cut deep and his unhappiness was often radioactive, spreading throughout the house.
Most of the time I can focus on my memories of the positive side of our relationship, and that’s what I want to do today. My father passed along a great sense of humor and a love of books. He supported my early attempts to write fiction, and if he would have lived to see me published, I’d like to think he would be proud.
Happy birthday, Dad.