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happy birthday dad

my old man is far from perfect, although he thinks heís pretty close, to perfect that is. he is stubborn, opinionated, overbearing, manipulative, selfish and abusive. he use to be my hero, up until i was 13 years old. then i couldnít stand the sight of him. i never did quite live up to his expectations. iím too weak for him, not strong enough, savvy enough. i care too much about what other people think. i am a follower not a leader. it use to bother me that i disappoint him, and it still does but not as much. but for all his faults he is a good person and a good father, far from the best, but he is my dad. our relationship has grown stronger since i moved away from home. it took him a while to realise that i wasnít abandoning him or my family and that it was a natural progression. but since then we have been close. if there is something serious that i need to discuss with my family i will tell him first. he is fiercely loyal to us. he is very smart. he is a thinker. while his life hasnít been dealt any tragedies or harsh blows, i suspect that it never quite lived up to his expectations and dreams. although he has never said this, i have caught glimpses of it through conversations. a subtle sigh or shift in his body, the slight inflexion in his voice, his advice to me. i feel sad for him that his dreams havenít been realised. i feel bad that he hasnít ever told me what his dreams were or are. when i asked him he told me what he thought i wanted to hear, things he has achieved. i love my dad, i really do. i donít like him a lot of the time, but i canít help but love the man, who for the first 13 years of my life was on par with god. who in the last 2 years has started saying that he loves me and misses me. who thinks i am better than i think i am. who is looking and sounding frailer and older every time i speak with him or see a photo of him. who understands what it is like to be away from your family and sends me regular pictures of my niece. the guy who always asks Ďok ok or just okí. the guy who goes fishing with me when i am home visiting even though it is more trouble than it is worth. and the guy who always buys me my favourite bourbon and beer when i come home to visit. i love you dad. happy birthday.