His father, my grandfather, was the head of the local industry union. He was a proud man and a passionate socialist who devoted his life to fighting for the interests of his fellow workers. He never asked for anything in return, selflessly sacrificing hours and hours of his time standing on the barricades for someone elses benefits.
My father looked up to him for his tenacious struggle and uncompromising ideals, but there was always something missing. Given the depth of his political dedication, he never had the time to be there for his own family when they needed him. And being the fragile child that my father was, feeling alienated both from the society in general and from the man that was supposed to be his role model in particular, was a heavy burden to bear.
He needed to be noticed and cared for, but his rock-solid-man of a father had other priorities. When the crisis hit the small town he was born and grew up in, he tried to fight back but failed. When times are changing the old ones fall apart, and no one represented the old times better than the grandfather I never met.