Getting to know my dad—spiritually

Originally appeared on

My dad and I were never very close when I was growing up. He had lived through the Great Depression. Not surprisingly, his thoughts often dwelled on lack—of money, of education, of employment. He was very focused on his work and was able to provide quite well for his family. Still, he seemed frustrated and dissatisfied. He could be impatient from time to time, and had a hair-trigger temper.

On top of that, Dad came from a generation of men who rarely expressed their affections openly. As a kid, I never recall him telling me he loved me or that he was proud of me. I eventually buried the desire for my dad’s approval, but I held onto my view of him as a frustrated, fear-filled man.

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