My dad is simple, yet complicated, as is our relationship. I used to think this was odd or at least different than most parent-child relationships. The older I get, the more I think it is like everyone else's.
My dad can be distant and solitary, yet he doesn't like being alone. I see my actions and reactions in life and I relate them back to how I was raised. I never used to give my dad (or mom) that same consideration.
It's easy to think my dad should be this or should do that. It would be easy to bristle at certain things he does now (and I admit I have bristled). Life, therapy and prayer have taught me to be easier on myself for things done and undone.
My dad is imperfect. Sometimes he is just maddening. I believe he struggles just like I do (only he isn't really the kind to discuss feelings etc). I know he loves all of us though.
My dad turns 82 today. God bless him. He swims 20+ laps, walks several miles and I only hope to be as physically fit at his age.
Happy birthday to my dad. I may not understand you at times, but I am finally starting to realize that I do not need to understand him to love him and feel close. If I am lucky enough to reach my dad's age, I might just have most of this figured out.
Happy birthday dad. I love you.
My dad, sisters and em in Fox River Grove, IL-December 2013.