“Dear Dad, It's been over 30 years since you've died. Yet there are important thoughts ab…”

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Dear Dad, It's been over 30 years since you've died. Yet there are important thoughts about you that I keep to myself. My sisters can guess, but I've never had the heart to spell it out. For them, decades of distance have enveloped their memory un a fog of nostalgic memories that obscure the harsher reality. If my sisters want to cling to their fond fantasies, so be it. Don't get me wrong, there is a lot about you to admire. Your command in language, your artistic flair - you draw, illustrate, act, direct, speak publicly - it's quite a list. You were wicked smart. Alas, there was also a darker side. A tendency towards mean-spirited rage. A shocking ability to cut people into pieces with harsh words. A tendency to suspect the worst in people and to make the most awful accusations based on pure conjecture. As I grew up, I watched all this. What angered me most was the fact that the biggest target of your harsh abuse was a patient Saint, yes, I am talking about my darling mother. I find this hard to believe it's been 30 years since you've been gone and yet she remains as deeply in love with you as she was when a were around. Of course, you loved her dearly too, the relationship wasn't all bad - it had its sweeter, affectionate moments. But for me, that made your horrible behavior towards mom all the more unconscionable. I fought with you about this, and for all your faults you did allow me to engage in a frank debate! I'll give you that. But after all is said and done you I can forgive you give for your callous mistreatment of people. In the last year of your life you were quite sick. I pretended all was well between us and it seemed to comfort you. The bottom line is, I never forgave you. I still don't. I wish you well though, wherever you are. Your Son

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