Today would have been my dad's 88th birthday. Both he and my mom passed away in 2015, within a few months of each other. I still miss them both very much, but as time moves on, I find it easier to talk about them without the accompanying melancholy I experienced those first few years.
Dad and I had a complicated relationship. I never lived up to what he expected of me, and I'm fine with that. Expectations are just that - expectations. The majority of the time, they are unattainable, and I feel we expend far too much energy and time into stressing over them. Once I finally figured out that the only person on this Earth I owe any explanations to is MYSELF, I finally felt at peace. My mental health has flourished, and I actually have found that my relationships with my family members have improved dramatically.
Here's to you, Dad ... save me a seat at the dinner table, will ya?