Yesterday was my 50th birthday. I was going to write a post reflecting on my half-century life. But I got a phone call yesterday morning telling me that my 83 year old dad had passed away.
My parents were divorced from one another by the time I was 2 years old. I never had much interaction with my dad while I was growing up. And a number of family members were always speaking ill of him. For a long time I believed those stories.
Somewhere along the line I learned that I actually looked like my dad the older I got. I thought that was interesting but never did much about it. Genetics after all will always play a part in your life.
When my grandfather passed away, my dad didn’t come to the funeral. I was upset by that and thought it was rather rude. At the time I didn’t know there was an unhealed rift between father and son which caused my dad to stay away from that family gathering.
Many years later, his older brother died suddenly and without any warning. I felt a call to reach out to my dad and heal that rift. Much like my own son did with his birth father. So I did reach out. I thought I had nothing to lose, if he didn’t want to talk to me then I wouldn’t have lost anything except a bit of time and a stamp.
My dad rejoiced at the re-connection of his youngest child. I learned a great number of things that I didn’t know about my family and my dad as well. It made sense out of a good number of events in life. I learned that I had a lot in common with my dad. It was a wonderful re-connection. One that I should have done a lot sooner but hindsight is always 20/20.
The last few years of being reconnected with my dad have been the best years of my life. I will treasure every moment I’ve spent with him and writing back and forth between those visits. I will also continue to reach out to his widow, Kathy, she is a sweetheart and one of the best things to have ever happened to my dad.