I interrupt the irregular proceedings of this blog to share a letter that I wrote to my father for Father’s Day.
I know that I’m doing more for Father’s Day this year than what we’ve traditionally done. Partially that’s because I’m so grateful for all that you’ve done for me, and partially because I’m a little guilty about how little I’ve done for you. Certainly some of it is a side effect of how scared I was about losing you in February. But mostly it is just because I love you.
You’ve always seemed superhuman to me. The strength of your character and the gentleness of your nature still inspire awe in me. And when I look back from the lofty heights of my 47 years (yes, you should read some sarcasm in that) at how much you had accomplished in life by age 47, and how little I have accomplished, I am humbled.
Probably the single greatest thing that you did for both John and I was that you allowed us the space to be children when we were children and that you allowed us even more space to be our own selves when we became adults. Recently I’ve thought a lot about that, and how I haven’t really given the same back to you. I’ve always expected perfection from you. And while you generally deliver on that score, I let myself become frustrated and even angry when those occasions arise when you are simply a human being. That isn’t fair, and it isn’t right. It has been a limiting factor in our tremendous friendship, and I am sorry for all the times that I’ve allowed my attitude to impact our relationship.
I know that you aren’t some comic book superhero who always does right. I know that you are simply a man who always tries to do right. And that is a far more precious and valuable thing. I know that you forgive me for this, you always do – and I appreciate your indulgence more than I’ll ever be able to say or even show. I will try harder to allow you the space to be your own self, and a human being. But there will always be a little corner of myself that enjoys pretending that you really are that comic book superhero.
I wrote this all down and stuck it in a card for you to read while I am at work so that we could avoid one of those awkward, mushy moments. But that doesn’t make it any less real. Thank you for being my father, I love you. Happy Father’s Day!