My father is 61 years old. During my childhood not only was he rarely around, but when he was he implanted memories that weren't the least bit positive. No, it wasn't the worst of situations, but given that his hand was usually wrapped around a Bud can and his time was spent either in the office, on the road, or with _______, it wasn't the greatest time.
It's taken me a long time to accept my father for who he is. He's not perfect; he's actually far from it. I know that a lot of the scars that reside inside me stem from my relationship (or lack thereof) with him. I still maintain some angst towards him, but as I've aged, and especially since he's aged (slowing down the drinking...ladies...), I've come to some semblance of acceptance.
Since I've stopped judging and started understanding (maybe not the perfect word), my relationship with my father has taken on a completely new life. Despite all of our differences and despite my sometimes harsh feelings for him, there's a bond that can't be explained. When I speak to my dad now it's almost impossible for us to hang up. We'll talk for a full hour about politics, sports, the girls i'm bombing with, the world, and just about anything that comes to mind. 90% of these conversations are flooded with hysterical laughter. And I mean hysterical laughter. We have a common sense of humor that is almost odd.
Recently my father said to me, "Chris, there's not a person on Earth who inspires me to think like you do." Whoa. That was a weird one to digest. Nevertheless, it reveals that the sometimes unimaginable is possible. A relationship that once did nothing but harbor resentment, anger and feelings of abandonmnent, has turned into one of the most rewarding relationships of my life. Sure, I realize that he's no longer a powerful CEO, he no longer has the energy to fuel his vices and this may play a part in his spending more time getting to know me. But truth told, I don't really care. Despite it all, he's still my father. It's been a fun few years getting to know him.