Today is my Dad's 75th birthday. Wishing him the very best. I just don't know where he is. He does know how to find me.
And the door is open. It has been for a long time. I don't bite. And you are welcome here. It can't hurt to try... though there is a lot of rebuilding work to do. And I've recently come to better see why it may be so challenging for you to walk through that door.
Anyway, regardless of all that, there is much I'm thankful for that you have given me:
- Being present at my birth and going to far reaches to make that happen in a time when the medical community and culture did not recognize the great value of being present at and assisting in the birth of your own child.
- Imbuing a love for the outdoors and wild places. You never quite ventured into them as far as you wanted. But I have picked up that legacy and taken it much farther. And I'm now passing this connection with wild places on to my own children.
- The deep and brilliant intelligence that you have passed on to me. I now understand how that can be, at times, both a curse and a great gift. And I understand how you struggled and suffered with your own parents. Please forgive them if you haven't already. Even partially if that's all you can do for now. They were, like all parents really, just trying to do the best for you with what they knew. It wasn't always a lot, and much of it was misdirected, but I don't believe they had ill intent. I do wonder how they got to be who they were, especially your dad. His family life prior to the years with grandma and you are, I suspect, a lost Scandinavian saga. The keys lie within that story, I'm sure of it. But we can't likely find them anymore. We just have make do and accomplish the best we can with what we have been given. Paradoxically it feels like I've been given an abundance and for this I feel much gratitude. I know that you too did the best you could with your innate resourcefulness with respect to me and my brothers. You have long been forgiven by me.
Happy birthday dad. I hope that, wherever you are on your own journey, you've found peace, inspiration and contentment.
With genuine love, your son.
Postscript: I just realized that this is connected, very directly, to my first ever post here: Belated Reflections on Father's Day