Today is Father’s Day. Friends were discussing gratitude and their fathers’ at a meeting this morning. That brought up some mixed feelings for me. My father died 20 years ago at the age of 78. We had not talked in several years.
My father and I had more father/son misadventures than most. For example, we were towed in by the coast guard in three countries. While working on the farm with him, I saw him get his ribs broken by an angry steer and got his front teeth knocked out by a tractor.
He taught me many useful personal vocational skills such as welding, working on and with tractors, construction, aquaculture, fishing and how to read a map while navigating open waters. He also taught me horribly dysfunctional social skills that have wreaked havoc in my relationships with others causing great pain in my life.
In recovery, I have learned how to not shut the door on the past. Today I was able to focus on the good things in my relationship with my father and be grateful for those times. My biggest regret is that I did not know then what I know now about relationships. We could have had a great relationship filled with love and good times instead of the unhappy ending that we endured.
My father was vastly more successful in his career as a pilot than anything I will ever come close to. My relationships with my friends are better than anything he ever had in my life.
I am grateful to my father for the good parts of our relationship.