Growing up, I had a turbulent relationship with my father. Sadly, I suppose, I never really did get as close to him as I wanted. We just didn't mesh. Mom once told me, "the reason you don't get along with your father, is because you're too much like him." This may be true. I followed a path similar to his. He didn't get along with his father either and he also searched for a father figure in someone who would not only teach him some life lessons, but show him some respect, too.
Imagine my surprise when I learned my Grandfather, who I always thought of as a nice man, was considered a bastard by his children. My Aunt, a fount of family information, told me the story of how my Grandfather lost his eye. It began innocuously enough. A little something in the eye, followed by persistent irritation, then infection. As a result of that, the eye had to be removed. The doctor told him, "we're going to have to take out that eye or the infection will travel from the eye and possibly into your brain. You should know also, you may die." After this sobering visit from the physician and surely in the solitude of his hospital room he made a deal with God. "God, if you let me live, I'll be a better father to my family." He lived, and my Aunt said, he kept his deal with God and was indeed a better father, after his brush with death.
I was always closer to my mother. She had a hard scrabble family history that could mark a person, but despite this, she had fierce loyalty toward her children, beyond that of her love for her husband. My Dad, I think, found this difficult to take and like most men couldn't understand the love of a woman, his wife, for her children. The fruit of this misunderstanding, on his part, caused him to be jealous of us and our Mother, his own kids. Didn't mean he was a bad man. Many men have felt the very same thing the world over. I'm a lot like dad and very much like mother. I loved them both. I recognize them more with each passing day, in their youngest child.