My father’s legacy. Two boxes. What’s it worth being right?
My father and I met for drinks on a Thursday night in 1990. Nothing unusual, although not a frequent event. He immediately cut our conversation short.
«I am the only one investing into our relationship. I prefer to be without children than having two children who don’t care about having a father.»
I did acknowledge his decision before parting ways. He felt right about his decision. My reaction felt right to me.
28 years later on a Tuesday night. An email with my father’s name in the subject line hits my inbox. My aunt asks me to authorize the funeral service for my deceased father in Brazil. I do as I am told.
«Father, what could have been if we hadn’t tried to be right? Five grandchildren whom you have never met. I was planning to visit. Three more months. Why didn’t I tell you? You probably had no reason to hold on to life. Not for the first time. It felt like an obligation to me. There was this expectation. For years I have tried hard not to be like you. We had more in common than we were willing to admit. It could have brought us together. Instead, it was what kept us apart. Being right comes at a cost. Right.»