After a shaky Thanksgiving, I'm nervous about what tonight will bring. And even more nervous about Christmas Eve. Tonight though... Dad will be there. He will corner me and look at me under his brow and ask me "How are you doing?" "What's going on?" "What will you do on Christmas?"
It will make me sick to my stomach when this happens. He and I don't talk. We discuss things about family, the weather and work, but we don't talk about our feelings, our problems or our unmet expectations of each other.
It has always been this way - since I was a little kid. I have no memories of curling up in his lap and talking about what I did at school that day, no hi-fives at my games, no conversations about young heartbreak - whether he caused it or not.
I can see that he's trying now - but I'm not a talker. And part of that, not all - but part, is because of him.
And this Christmas will be harder than ever because of it.