It has taken me fifty years to replace all the anger and immense bitterness with a simple pity. And it happened during the parade today.
I saw many people from my rooftop this morning lining the streets to watch their costumed children march in celebration of Revolution Day. And somewhere during the procession it quietly occurred to me just what my father has missed out on – dying so young as he did at the age of 56, some 28 years ago.
He missed the births of two of his three granddaughters. He missed watching all three of them grow up into the lovely accomplished young women that they are today. He missed their birthdays, all their graduations, and all of the other wonderful things they’ve accomplished throughout the years that was cause for us living to joyously celebrate.
My father was a cruel, unthinking, selfish bastard for most of his life and the positive changes he made in the last years of his life was still not enough to undo the damage that he did to every last single member of his family. How’s that for a legacy?
He grew up in a rough time, in a rough place without a father; so how could he have possibly learned any of those important attributes of what it took to be one?
And so today, I forgive him for everything.
It’s a pity, such a heartbreaking pity, that that’s the only feeling I have left for him. He missed so much with each and everyone of us. What greater punishment could there ever be than that?
And that is not how one’s life should end.
PS – I know I’ll have to come back and rewrite some of this because it isn’t exactly sounding true. But I will say in closing that I am finally freed of the crippling effects of all that poisoned anger that has been rankling at me for the better part of my life.