William John Abernathy (August 7, 1911-April 27, 1996)
My father and I had a complicated, at times, tempestuous relationship. Probably, I think and feel (and after years of reflection, more clearly and more surely), because we were so very much alike in so many ways…
Inquiring of mind and inveterate, sometimes obsessive questioners of and about everything and everyone.
Emotive of heart and soul and expressively, energetically opinionated.
Iconoclastic of spirit, coupled with an almost inbred and easily aroused skepticism about the machinations of institutions.
Though given to following his own proverbial drummer, in time and in tune with his internal rhythm and tone, my father always sought, yet never quite realized the validating acceptance of the world about him that he craved. I behold in my life, verily, bear the cross of a similar disharmony.
My father and I, again and again freely, effortlessly exchanging the roles of overwhelming force and immovable object, clashed. Often.
Still, my father loved me. Yes, with a love of human limitations; the kindness and care of which capable of being conditioned by his temperament and his temper. Yet, too, with a love unconditional in one most salient and significant respect. No matter who or where I was, geographically or existentially, or what I said or did (or didn’t say or do), my father never stopped loving me. Never.
And I love him. Always.
Happy Father’s Day, Dad.