We did right by him, my brothers and me. That’s the ghost that hung in the air between us from February, when Dad called to tell me he was dying, until June, when the ALS reached his lungs and stopped his breathing. I knew it, Dave knew it, Eric knew it, and Dad knew it: We did right by him as his children, even though he didn’t do right by us as our father. He kept asking, “I did all right, didn’t I? I wasn’t perfect, but I was okay.” Sure, we’d tell him. You were a good father. It was only when we weren’t around him that we shook our heads in disbelief at the way a man can lie to himself.
Read the whole incredible thing--particularly if you've ever had to put on a brave face and tell a parent who needed to hear it that they "did all right," even if maybe they didn't.