I love reading Gary's posts about his dad. You can tell how really close they were from everything he wrote.
I never felt all that close to my dad. A lot of that had to do with his jobs. He was always quitting and finding a new job. He had to work long hours. He worked a lot of my childhood as a truck driver until an accident made him unable to drive. Long haul trucking saw him away a lot.
Truth be told I found my dad to be kind of embarrassing. It is probably something most kids have felt at some point. He was a loud guy, always saying something inappropriate. He was over my wife's house for some pre-wedding meet and greet and he put a dog chain around her and said something entirely horrifying.
He was pretty popular where we grew up though. Even if he made me squirm he was interesting to other people. I kind of regret not realizing some of the depth that he had.
I really like to deny that his death had any effect on me. I did not cry (although I did mist up a little at times). I was not really over the house often as I had my own life. I just felt like he was dead, big deal. I think it hit me harder than I know though.
It did correspond to becoming depressed and falling into some bad patterns. Other things were going on at the time but I think his death really did impact me.
The thing I find the funniest though is as I get older I kind of understand more of where he was coming from. I realize it is DAMN hard to raise kids. It is very hard to provide for them. Especially in his case where all of his skills were blue collar. I realize that kids are crazy ass creatures with wills of their own. I learn that life is one hard motherfucking thing to go through. Even at the best of times it is ready to knock you down and force you to struggle to get up again.
As I grew a little in perspective I realized that he probably felt a lot of love for me. He tried his best with all of the circumstances surrounding his life.. many of which I have no clue about. A few months back I stopped for a minute in my day and I said "Dad, I forgive you". Peace.