My father was a journalist, spent most of his life writing columns for newspapers in Texas, doing some radio news work, and doing some public relations work here and there in between. He had the opportunity to interview a lot of celebrities and take some interesting trips.
My father was an alcoholic who tried so many times to live a sober life; but the alcohol, mixed with some mental health issues, made life very difficult at times when I was growing up. It made life even more difficult as I moved into adulthood, got married and had children.
As a grown woman I understood even more what my mother had gone through, and continued to go through. Finally, as age and illness advanced in my father, something in me came to terms with needing to forgive him, and to forgive myself for not understanding more. One day it just clicked in my mind that I was through judging him, that I either had to accept him for who he was, or go on with my judgemental thoughts of him forever.
I can’t remember exactly, but I think that epiphany came to me three or four years before he died.
I was by his side when he died. I was able to look him in the eyes and say without rancor, and without regrets “I love you Dad”. And I meant it with all my heart.