I vaguely recollect a story, maybe from the Bible, about a son and his father. The nub of it was the two occasions the son had cried when his father had hit him. The first time was when he was a child and because it hurt. The second time was when he was a young man and it didn’t, signifying that his father was now weak and dying.
I have a personal recollection which mirrors this.
I can’t recall the first time my dad hit me, nor any subsequent occasion. But I will add that he was a good man and there is little doubt in my mind that I will have deserved it.
The last time he hit me, however, I shall never forget.
I’d have been about fifteen, I guess. He’d hit me hard across the face. It was undeserved and my dad knew it.
He begged my forgiveness instantly and cried like a baby.
It was as though in that moment “the man” passed between us.