Father’s Day. Tears suddenly well in the corners of my eyes. At first, I don’t know why. Later, I realize that I miss my dad.
Dad wasn’t always an easy man to love. He had a temper and lacked the tools to learn how to deal with his feelings without alienating those closest to him. Religion became an end unto itself. His theology and philosophy of life was a dogmatic black and white. In that certainty he often found comfort and meaning. It hurt when he refused to walk me down the aisle at my non-Catholic wedding but it was not a surprise. He was a man of conviction. I didn’t always like it but I did respect it and ultimately him. He was doing the best he knew how. To entertain alternatives was not his style. If that made him sometimes harsh and unfair, it also kept him a man who strove to live from within the heart of his ideals.
In my large family, I believe I was my dad’s favorite especially when I was young. As a young child, the world rose and set in him. I sought him out. He brought a passion to life that was infectious. He taught me about big band and classic films. He loved music and often wrote melodies and lyrics of his own. He never really believed in himself or in his talents and abilities. He stopped pursuing his dreams and focused on his failures.