A few years ago, out of the blue, I received a phone call from someone I knew in high school. For a short while, we were best buddies but I hadn’t heard from him in nearly thirty years. A few weeks later, he stopped by. He asked about my family, and specifically about my father. I informed him that my father had passed away a few years earlier. He told me something that I thought was incredibly lovely.
He had been very badly abused by his father as a child, as had all his siblings. Furthermore, he was gay and came out of the closet in high school, a situation which made his relationship with his father even worse. In fact, one of the reasons we lost contact is that he left home at the first opportunity. He told me how important my father had been to him because he set an example for him that let him know that a man can be gentle and kind. Indeed, my father was a very kind and gentle person, and I think it would have gratified him to know how my friend felt.
I was reminded of this by a post I read today. It’s only very tangentially related, but I thought I would share it with everyone because I think it’s very sweet.