As I stated at the end of Part 1 there have been bright spots for sure!
The good news is that I had a grandfather that was able to fill some of those gaps. My namesake taught me to fish (how to hold my mouth just right), how to work (steady), how to drive a tractor, mow the lawn (after my cousin and I cut a strip across the lawn with a hand mower), how to be mischievous and how to be silent and speak when necessary (it's better to be silent and thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt).
Now that I have had my own kids I can see my dad teach my children the same traits. I get to see and experience the kinder gentler father. My dad may not have role modeled how to be a father to me when I was young. He may not have been the father I needed or wanted him to be then. But now... he's all that and more.
My dad taught me how to be strong (as a bull), to not back down, to not give up, to stand up for yourself, to be a man's man, to hunt, to shoot (you'll never know if you can hit it if you don't pull the trigger) and (it's hard to know where the shot came from if you only shoot once).
Now he demonstrates wisdom, unconditional love, gentleness, authority, laughter, compassion, godliness, humanness, understanding, forgiveness, generosity and sacrifice. He is teaching me by his life how to be a father to my girls today.
I know that I can talk to my dad about anything and he will listen and not judge, he will try to understand, and share advice if asked. I know that he is always there for me; and not just me but his five other kids; grandkids; and great-grand kids.
I know that I am a good dad. I am not the best dad. My hope is that in time I can be like my dad.