Aww, thank you :) Luckily I also had a wonderful step father who taught me most of what I know about being a good man. He respected the fact that we weren’t always going to agree on things.
I think if my father had died before he changed into a more likable person and learned to appreciate me for the person I am, I would have still had tears at his funereal, if for nothing more than those extraordinarily rare little times when he was proud of something I did and the fact that it could have been so much more.. so much time wasted, so much potential love and closeness lost with no chance now of seeing that change… tears for whatever happened to him as a child or young adult that made him like that.
Luckily, even though can still be a frustratingly close-minded, self-deluded person, we have a good relationship. He also gave me a wonderful step mother who genuinely loves me like I was her own even though I was already an adult when they met.
Now when he tirades about something ridiculous that he hasn’t at all thought through, and we argue, I can see an almost embarrassed look on his face when I make a point he can’t refute. I never ever had that kind of power over him before, and when I see it, I know he’s grown, even if it came very late to him and he still has a long way to go.
He recently got on a gun kick and joined the NRA. I’m not a fan of guns, but I’m not judgmental, either. It’s just not my thing. Recently when he and my stepmom visited he wanted to show off his pistol.
The first thing he does is point it at me. I quickly step to the side and tell never ever ever do that. He rolls his eyes and says “it’s not loaded,” and then tries to argue with me because now he feels embarrassed.
I told him “how many times has that exact sentence preceded someone accidentally getting shot? You don’t ever point a gun at someone unless you intend to shoot them, not matter how unloaded or safetied you think it is. Ever. EVER. How do you think the NRA would feel about you touting your membership and then breaking the #1 most simple rule of gun ownership? They’d boot you out.”
That’s when I saw the embarrassed silence. I felt bad. I told him “I’m sorry for getting on to you about that, but that’s life or death you’re waving there. Think about it. Think about all of those stories ‘I didn’t know it was loaded’ where someone DIED. End of story, done, dead. What if it was mom? Just do as you were taught and aim it down, never wave it around, never ever point that end at anyone. That’s all.”
It’s so completely different from when I was growing up. Sometimes I have trouble reconciling it’s the same person.