I've spent all day thinking about what to write about my father. It's become more and more difficult, the older I get, to compartmentalize my relationship with, and feelings for, him.
When I was younger, a child, everything was so easy and simple, when saying "I love you" said it all. I look at my nieces and nephews, at their blissful ignorance, and I sometimes miss being so carefree.
As I got older, like most everyone, I imagine, I became aware that there was more to the world than only myself. I realized that my parents were not simply Mom and Dad, but real people with real emotions, real flaws, real personalities. It's almost a sobering moment when you come to understand that your parents have a life outside you, had a life before you, when you were nary a glint in your father's eye, have wants and wishes and desires that have absolutely nothing to do with you...
...ah, fuck it. I'm not in the mood for this maudlin crap right now. My father is who he is and I wouldn't want him to be anyone else, depression and all. He helped make me who I am today and, other than my previous aborted attempts at an academic career, I have no regrets about what I've done or who I am. Despite his own internal struggles, my father has been nothing but supportive of me, stupid decisions and all. And that's really all any child can hope for.
I love you, Dad. Happy Father's Day.