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

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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