That is a picture of my Father. To find it, I had to search the internet. I’ve had the idea of Fatherhood on my mind quite a bit lately, for obvious reasons.
I was listening to the Howard Stern show today, and he had Chris Cornell on. During the interview, Howard asked Chris about his relationship with his parents, which is something I’ve never heard him speak about. He hasn’t spoken to them in at least three years, and never had much of a relationship with them. Howard eventually asked “Did they tell you that they loved you?”. They did. That got me to thinking. If my memory serves me correctly, I have never heard my father tell me that he loves me. Now, I’m not going to assume that “love” is or is not a feeling he’s ever had for me, I’m just stating the fact that it’s never been expressed to me. And I don’t just mean with words. In fact, if I dropped dead right now, it could be years before my father even knew about it, despite the fact that he lives 10 minutes away from me. And if that were to happen, I can’t imagine that it would change his life in any way whatsoever.
I’ve gone back and forth with the idea of speaking to my Dad over the years. I’m at a point now where I think I’m just not going to do it. It won’t involve avoiding him at all, because unless I stop over his house we don’t talk anyway. I could call, but unless he answers we don’t talk, since he doesn’t call back. I’ve “chased” this relationship very casually for years, and I think it’s enough.
I’ve said for a long time now, that “my family” starts now. It starts with me, and includes my woman, and soon my son. The people I grew up with (and without) have provided me a prefect blueprint of what not to do. The relationship I never had with my Dad has shown me exactly what I need to do with my son. Among many other things, I need to make sure that expressions of my feelings for him flow like water; constant and strong. I need to lead by example, and make sure that I can be counted on when I’m needed the most. And I need to make sure he doesn’t listen to lame music.