But beyond this I don't quite know how to talk to my dad anymore. He has changed a bit from when I used to live with him in ways that break my heart. I truley feel I gained my trust in people and lack of harsh judgement from him and yet I've seen him become paranoid, putting locks on everything and feeling no one is to be trusted anymore. I have heard him talk like there is no good in the world. I often believe he is depressed and though I have voiced this to a few people I know my dad trusts I feel there is little I can do then watch and hope he never opens his gun cabinet with the thought in his mind.
I want my dad to be happy. I know he struggles with self worth. My dad was a state wrestler, he put a lot of value in his bodies abilities and he knows he has limitations now. My dad was homecoming king, he had and has many admirers but he is more of an introvert than people realize, he would much rather alone for long periods than with others. This doesn't keep people close and he notices this but doesn't realize why they don't stay.
I also want my dad to think beyond himself like he used to. I think this is something a lot of people with depression go through, a lot of self-centeredness because they want to be happy and they can't get there. To this day my dad complains about a father who never told him he was loved and yet, he doesn't see that he himself has become this father. Every "I love you" I mutter is answered with "yep". That feeling I had as a child that he would throw himself in front of a bus to save me is gone. Sometimes I think if I was hit by that bus he wouldn't be thinking about me, but how awful life was for him that a daughter died before him, but also "she didn't really wasn't around much anyway, except when she needed something." It's hard to feel like this is the way he thinks of me and not know how to change it. He isn't interested in just hanging out with so much on his to do list.
I guess one major thing I am really saddened by is his role as a grandpa. I was expecting more. Today I was realizing how I'm sure he doesn't really know how to be a grandpa. My grandpas both died when I was very young so he never saw one in action. And I don't think he was raised with much contact with his grandparents. So I shouldn't be surprised that he is constantly more worried that he will scare them than he is in noticing how much they adore him. He keeps his distance, refusing to hold them as infants and saying "he doesn't like me," when they cry. I always hoped my kids would feel the same love I had felt as a child from my dad, and even more.
I love my dad. I hope I see him rise out this behavior, that he doesn't become that grumpy old man that I never imagined he would become. I hope he finds happiness somehow, trust in the world again. I hope he says "I love you." sometime, to one of my kids.