And that’s exactly the point, Tom. Our fathers grew up at a time when being demonstrative and vulnerable were not necessarily male ideals. Dad tried to be scrupulously fair with his kids, and while he was terribly uncomfortable with me, he loved me. Of that I am sure. Like your father he stuck it out the entire way, providing and caring as best he could.
My father’ s parents died in their sixties long before I could meet them. Despite his health issues my father made it to 84.
Your comment reminds me of a video I saw of the Pope who gave comfort to a very small, deeply upset little boy whose father had been an atheist but who had baptized all his kids. By all account the man had been a good father. The boy was in tears because he was fearful his father was in hell. My personal beliefs aside here and in this particular way this is one reason I like this Pope a lot (while eschewing Catholicism, I think this Pope is a man for his time), he comforted the boy and said, in short that such a man must surely be judged a good man by God. Who are we to judge our parents? What a waste of time and life. All that we can ask of our parents is that they do their best. In a world where parents are zoned out on opioids in the front seat while their three-year-old sits alone in a high chair in the back I think we can count ourselves fortunate indeed.