Dan Fogelberg released his hit Leader of the band when my father was 71. It spoke a lot to me because I saw a lot of my father in me. I'm hard headed, so was he.
When I speak with my siblings of dad, they are not kind to him. We see him through different eyes. We understand him in different ways. They saw him as lazy, I saw him as a man trapped in circumstances he resented. He loved us kids. He loved all kids and welcomed the friends and spouses we brought home with out question or reservation.
If you don't know your father, this song might be harder to fathom. I understand though how dad shaped me, what his discipline was intended for, and after twenty three years, I still miss him. He'd be 106 this spring. He's celebrating that one in heaven.
Dad wasn't perfect, and I understand what my brothers and sisters saw in him. No parent is, it is the last bastion of the amateur. No parent gazes down at that tiny infant in the crib and says, "Boy am I gonna screw up your life."
Well, dad, you didn't screw up our lives even if you were not the perfect father.