Great Weekend with my Dad

This time of year tends to be one of my favorite. Being that Marion and I both live pretty far from the rest of our family, we have for the last several years traveled back home to spend the holidays. While most people use their vacation in the summer months, we have found that we use the majority of ours at the end of November and December.

This year we were blessed to have my Dad and step-mom, Christine, come and spend a long weekend with us. It was nice to have family come our way at this time of year, but more importantly it was just nice to see family.

This trip for me was a little different then the usual for me, but in a good way. I got to see my dad in a light that I have not seen in a while. After the divorce, almost 5 years ago now, the relationships with my dad and us kids have not at times been the best. Hurt feelings tended to, at many times, lead to awkward situations, and as a result these relationships never were able to grow. In fact in many ways they were stinted or unfortunately even worse, were degraded.

I can only speak for myself as my perspective is unique to my experiences before, during, and after the divorce. I am still hurt in many ways, but am healing, and learning more about my parents, myself, and my siblings in the process.

This weekend was one of those learning experiences for me. I got to learn a little more about my dad. He shared some stories about his past, some of his experiences when he was my age. All very interesting things for a son to hear his father talk about. But more then stories, advice, and the chance to catch up, this weekend I got to see some of the fruit of my father's personal growth. What an awsome gift a father could give to his son.

His demeanor was different then it had been in years past. I don't know how to explain it, besides using the word, gracious. My dad this trip didn't seem so up tight as he sometimes could be, and seemed so content in watching his granddaughter do the things that granddaughters do. Granddaughters probably have a way of doing that to most people. He was also eager to listen. He had questions about things going on in his life, and was truly interested in my opinion. I am sure we both got something out of those conversations. I know I for sure did. Open and healthy dialogue with my dad - great stuff.

I love my father. I have great memories of my childhood, and believe that I am the man I am today, much in part because of his influence and love. He is by no means perfect, but he is continuing to try to be the best version of himself, and thus be the best person he could ever hope to be to himself and to his family. That process requires searching and eventual growth as a man. I am just glad that I got to experience some of that growth with my dad this weekend.