My Father (2)

In short, in the absence of parental care, I took care of myself. I’ve never known if I am blessed with formidable self-reliance or I became competent at caring for myself simply because no one else was there to do it.

Ironically, I sometimes feel like I should thank my father for his failure to look after me because it forced me to learn to stand on my own. That ability was invaluable during my days in combat on the battlefield in Vietnam and elsewhere. I couldn’t depend on the man fighting next to me to save my life. My survival was up to me.

My father’s fiascos were a lesson for me. I swore that when I became a father, I wouldn’t fail my children as my father had failed me. And, in my judgment, I was a very good father as long as I was with my children. But my work required that I spend a great deal of time away from home, first on the battlefields of Vietnam, later elsewhere. In another pitiless irony, my occupation which provided the funds to feed and house them and my wife in comfort also deprived them of my company

As I age and am forced to face my own successes and failures as a father, I rate myself as a qualified success. My four children are all healthy and successful. I spent less time with them than either they or I would have wanted, but our hours together were precious and valued. We have no complaint.

So Giuliani’s imminent disbarment brought back memories and, ultimately, peace. I am content.

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