When I was in Med School I recall a lecturer discussing genetics. He mentioned in passing that.."It is a wise man who knows his father." This was in the context of a discussion on actual versus presumed paternity, and in retrospect was a rather callous thing to say.
But it has a deeper truth to it. When do we become wise enough to really know our fathers? Or our children?
Here's my dad and I a couple of years before he passed. His dementia was getting on a bit but it was not the pure evil that you'd think. Things that had been eating at him for years were no longer concerns to him. He thought a lot about his own childhood on the farm and that made him happy. He got to spend time with his grandchildren and that made him happy as well.
My brother is a rather easy going fellow. Oddly, when he interacted with our father the discussions were serious ones. I'm frankly way more intense. And dad and I had marvelous times in those later years just goofing around. Here I've got my laptop and am showing him the latest grand kid pix. Or maybe silly videos. I imagine my visits made his day. And maybe my dad also felt better after unburdening himself in discussions with my brother. I'm sure there is significance in the fact that we both felt more natural interacting with him in the manner least like our own selves. Each in our own way we got to know him better. I doubt my dad remembered any of it the next day.