It took my dad committing a crime for me to finally forgive him. I was never able to completely confirm what the crime was, but I know enough to know he is flawed, deeply. But he is the product of the system — one in which it’s not difficult to breach your parole, and once you do, you end up back behind bars. I also acknowledge that his family history — an abusive and toxic upbringing — was drowned out by drugs, alcohol and bad choices. I don’t excuse my father for his crimes, but I finally accept him for who he is.
I still don’t know where he is half the time, and he continues to remain trapped in the system, prison one breach of parole away. I wish my dad would change, and I wish we could have the relationship I have always longed for, the type of relationship that I deserve. For now, I wait, believing that as long as we’re both alive that it’s never too late to start again.
And for good measure, I still have the number of the jail on speed dial.