I know I do this a lot, get all retrospective and then it turns into melancholy. But when you reach your 40's it's time to take a look at your life. Where you've been, what you've done and where you are going. I've been doing a lot of that lately.
Maybe it's the fact that my two older children are soon going to be parents themselves, but I wonder sometimes how I did as a father, and how I'm doing as a father. A few years ago my daughter and I had a pretty heated discussion on how she felt about things when I left. But she was able to tell me and get it off her chest, and then I dealt with it. I know I made some mistakes, big ones, and I know it has affected my children's lives, but just how much? My oldest son has never really said anything to me about my leaving, and coming out. Maybe that's how he deals with it. My two youngest really don't have too much recollection of when I was living with them, and the dad they have now is the only dad they really remember. Coming out was painful for me, but sometimes I think it has been more painful for my two oldest kids. I mean prior to coming out we lived a surreal life, and then one day POOF! It changed. I love my kids more than words could ever express and that is what I've tried to show them, especially in the past five years or so. DJ has shown me that, as he has no relationship with his father at all, and he helps me realize how important it is to stay close to my kids.
Now that the grand babies are coming, I want to do all I can to try and maybe give them as much love as I can. I want them to grow up knowing that their grandfather is a good, loving, caring man that cares very deeply for them, and not just their GAY grandpa. I don't want that to be a focus for them or their friends or family. I don't want them to have to say..."That's my grandpa and he is gay." I want them to be able to say, "That's my grandpa and he's great!"
Now don't get me wrong I know I am far from great, but I look at my own father and his relationship with his grandchildren. They all adore him. He is their role model. I may not ever be the role model that he is, but I want to be someone that they can respect and admire. I want to be someone that they know loves them, unconditionally. How do I make that happen? I do it. Shower them with love and respect, and you will get that in return, right?
I hope someday that my oldest son will be able to talk to me about his feelings, about when I left and share how it affected him. Since my daughter did, things are so much more open between us, and I can tell her anything, and I hope she feels the same with me. Maybe my son won't ever talk to me about, maybe he has dealt with it, and don't feel the need to talk about it. He always has been a very quiet introspective person. I know that he loves me, and I hope he knows how much I love him, even though at times I wasn't there to show it or prove it to him. Life is too short I suppose to worry about regrets, but to move forward and try your best not to add too many more to your life.
See I told you it turns to melancholy.