To put it simply, I cannot remember a time when my father and I got along. He always complained that I “was born a rebel.”
He on the other hand stated, “Anyone can have a family. I have a career.”
He divorced my mother.
I moved out as soon as I could – when I was 17 and had a minimum wage job and a motorbike.
At his bash, one of his long-time admirers got up and said there were three things my father loved. “His wife, his chocolate and his cats.” (This refers to wife #3. The cats are hers. He was anti-pet until he married her.)
He got up to correct this speaker: “That’s not right. I have one love: Science.” His current wife just sat there and smiled.
Nevertheless, men who had known my father since before I was born got up and talked about how they had enjoyed his intellect over the years. At 95, my father is still capable of having concise conversations about the latest scientific developments.
For the most part, I didn’t recognize the man they talked about. Neither did my brother. And I think the man who sat at my sister’s table said it best. “I didn’t know he had children.”