Let me dissect this, I am not a male so thereby technically I cannot be a “FATHER”. But in reality to my children sometimes I am a father as well as a mother. This is contradictory to me on an intimate level, you see growing up me father was not the “hero” type. He was my father, I did not and still do not understand the whole father hero complex.
My relationship with my father was never less than complex. My father had his own set of challenges in life, then you add a person like me and well use your imagination (and yes history has partially repeated itself with my son). How can I put this eloquently without insulting anyone, my father was not well rounded or developed emotionally, he was challenged. As a boy his “problems” were not acknowledged or recognized. In those days (he was born in 1935)
problems were set aside and “normality” was forced to prevail. When I came along and presented with an inability to function within the parameters of normality, not only did history repeat itself for my father but a need to face his own demons also presented. My father while being a genius (he was a member of the Mensa Society), made a conscious choice not to face or acknowledge his demons, laying claim to being content with who and what he is/was, not wanting to change. His unwillingness to face his own demons did not interfere with his desire for something better and different for me. He put me into therapy after therapy, tried program after program. Clearly as an adult all the therapies and programs made a difference, as a child it was questionable how I would turn out.
Sorry squirrel moment, back to the topic…
I always loved my father, even when I hated him (I believe one has to love to be able to truly hate). I hated my father for various things as a child (not all small and or insignificant). As an adult I realized that to continue to hate him was a waste of time energy and emotion, he only did what he thought was the right thing to do. I let the hatred go, and while I still could not say the words “I love you” to him, I slowly found the emotion in my heart once again. After my mother died in 2003 the dynamics of my relationship with my father radically changed, I understand now why one of my brothers described the relationship as symbiotic. It was organic, my mother who was his wife for 36 years was gone, my marriage was in shambles with two young children, yup we needed each other. I recognized this at the time and was cognizant not to allow it to become warped or twisted. I became the matriarch of the family, almost overnight, I could not replace my mother of fill her shoes, but I did find my own. As my marriage was dissolving my father fell ill. Aug of 2007 after many months of medical testing, we discovered my father had cholangiocarcinoma not metastasized but in advanced stages. Then he developed (or began showing signs, probably had it for a while) NPH (normal pressure hydrocephalus). Google the DX, it is not pleasant. He was not a candidate for a shunt because of the cholangiocarcinoma, I watched my father become a mere shell of the brilliant man I once knew. I do not use the description “brilliant” lightly, while he was not a HERO, he was magically intelligent. My father now needed help on how and why to eat, use the toilet, and most other daily functions. While he would have moments of lucidity, he basically had digressed to an imbecile state. It was then that I had the epiphany about how MAGICALLY BRILLIANT my father had been my whole life.
To wrap up this no too long a story (I obviously needed to get out because I sat here long enough to finish it and actually published it) my father was not my HERO, I guess you could say he was my Magician. Now my job is to be that for my kids, thanks dad you left massive shoes for me to fill….
Life is good,working thru the baggage of life and becoming a better person for it.