I had a proper forty-five minute conversation with my father last Saturday. I had spoken to him briefly earlier this year but was left under whelmed by our first direct contact in over twenty years.
Due to my anger with how he treated our family when I was much younger, contact over the years has always been through intermediaries – my mother when she was alive and later my elder sister.
So while in Hyde Park waiting for Panorama – the UK’s national steel band competition to start, I decided to call him again. What possessed me, I’ll never really know. But I am glad I made the effort. We ended up having the sort of conversation I wish I’d had with my mom when she was alive.
I asked him all the tough questions that fifteen years ago I would have been too scared to ask. Mainly because my father — from as far back as I can remember was an arrogant, self-absorbed prick who really cared for no one but himself. How else to explain the long list of broken hearts (women and children) he left behind after each failed relationship.
This meant that our conversation was a bit awkward at times, but his answers made me want to get to know him better. He is a lot humbler now. I suppose age and a few setbacks (personally and professionally) have brought some much needed perspective about what’s really important. Thus, the plan is to call him again next week. Who knows, in the next coming months/years, I might start of think of him as a parent instead of being just a sperm donor.