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The broken bridge



The broken bridge


Last night I was at a family get together for another family that is a big part of my childhood. Our parents were close friends and we all grew up together. We would all holiday together every year or so and birthday and Xmas celebrations meant more to us than with our blood relations.


Our parents are quite old now, and none of them have long left - probably...


My counterpart – the son from the other family, has grown into a mature, life loving, laughing adult. He has his own son and is already raising him with all the usual guilt and fear - as any good parent does – lol.


However, my counterpart is still nursing the bitterness of arguments he had with his 'Old man' twenty years ago. They constantly take cheap shots at one and other. Neither seems willing to bend very much.


The father does tend to always assume a know it all manner – and everyone gets irritated by this at one time or another.


The son seems to regularly and deliberately tread on his fathers toes to get a reaction.


For example he discovered his dad is a passionate supporter of the science behind climate change, and how much more should be done to address it. The son has exactly the same view, but as a perverse personal entertainment, he makes sly comments about it all being a fake or massively exaggerated.


"social occasions" are only warfare concealed. - Khan. Star Trek


They live oceans apart, and I suspect my counterpart will come down with a very big bump when his dad finally passes.


This sort of 'game' they play seems a bit humorous at the time, but personally I find it a bit like watching a car crash in slow-motion. I privately tried to suggest a different approach to the son, but his mouth is too full of clever words for his ears to listen to anyone very much.


The father too is not without his faults. It's as if despite the shortening of his remaining time, he is ramping up his campaign to have a final few more final lasting impressions made on his child.


My own father and I watch all this with silent and grim determination. Determined not to intrude on the destructive dance playing out before us.


I buried the hatchet with my own parents many years ago. In my younger days I wanted to bury the hatchet in their foreheads, but we all survived that phase, and now we seem to be pretty ok – as much as anyone can be I suppose.


So really, I suppose this BLOG post is directed at the clever son that wouldn't listen to me last night, rather than directed at any one of you guys. But if it's an any way useful to you, I offer you my thoughts and well wishes.



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My Dad and I had a tongue in cheek relationship until he died. I used to flip him off, and he would flip me off, then we would grin at each other because we knew it was not serious.


I also tried to get a rise out of him quite often, but I never stopped loving my Dad.


He lived overseas, and the last serious discussion I had with him I told him I loved him. I knew it would be the last time I saw him. 


So I am somewhere in-between the situation you describe. Something can be salvaged for the good of both.

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