You may have heard the story to which I am about to refer. It was on NPR this morning, where they were sharing some Father's Day reflections.
A writer, whose name I believe was Walter Meyer, grew up in Harlem. He spoke of how the person he most wanted to impress with his writing was his father. When Walter wrote something as a young person he showed it to his father. When he managed to write down and publish ghost stories that his father told, Walter took them proudly to his father. Never did Walter's father have a kind word to say about his writing.
When Walter's father was on his death bed, Walter handed him the latest book he had published. His father glanced at it and set it aside without comment. "I knew then for sure that my father hated me," mourned Walter.
Following his father's death, Walter went through some of the papers and other items left behind. He noticed on numerous documents that where his father's signature was required there simply was an "X."
Walter finally realized why his father never had anything to say about his writing. His father could not read, and was too ashamed to tell his own son.
Relationships between fathers and sons often can be fraught with complexities and misunderstandings. Time passes without resolution, and sometimes opportunities for sharing, mentoring, and love are completely missed.
It truly is a loss for everyone involved.