A few months before he died my father said to me "I would do anything for my family." Of course there were things he could not do for us, including some things that we would have really liked for him to do. No parent is perfect. I think he had a lot of regrets in his life. He had time to brood on his mistakes, and he did that. But I also know that overall, he did the best he could.
Most parents do. We are all limited. Of course there are just plain bad parents. But most parents are just flawed people, muddling through and trying to do the best they can. Most parents fail their children at one time or another. I guess everyone fails the people who depends on them, sometimes, in some way. Maybe it's a big way, or maybe it's not so big.
If I could tell him one thing today, it would be this: that I know he did the best he could for us.
I bet there are a lot of mothers and fathers out there that need to hear that. I bet I will need to hear that someday too.