"Father" is pretty formal. I used to call my dad "dad", but for my purposes here, the subject matter is important, not the name.
I debated on talking about this on my blog, and in the end I think it will be okay. My dad and I were never what you would call close. There were times I was pretty sure he didn't like me or was singling me out in a way he never did any of my other siblings. That may be due to the tunnel vision one has when one is younger and one's limited view of the big wide world. I seemed to get in trouble with him a lot and get lectured and yelled at while my brothers and sisters were told they could go. I tried to win his approval and always fell short. "You could have done that instead," or "If you had done this it would have looked better," comments stung and I internalized them. It still hurts to think of the hour-long yell/lecture I got because I didn't like what we were having for dinner one night.
I went away as an adult with the thought "If I'm not even good enough for my own dad, then how is anyone else ever going to love and accept me?" I've been trying since I was little to win and keep people's affection. Terrified that if I'm not always doing better and being "perfect", then that affection will be taken away.
My dad passed away 13 years ago and by the time he had gone I had made peace with things. I knew he wasn't being deliberately cruel. As messed up as his parenting style was, he did the best he knew how. It just turns out what he knew about good parenting was very little. I have forgiven him, but I don't think I miss him the same way everyone else in the family does. I think about him occasionally and I get sad about him being gone sometimes. I'm sad he doesn't know his two youngest grandkids. I'm sad he'll never meet my significant other. But there isn't a deep sadness or a "I miss him every day" kind of thought that ever goes through my head.
So if you have a good relationship with your dad, be grateful. If you have a bad relationship with your dad and you want to make it better for you--not anyone else--then do what you can. The truth is, we can't all have what I call the "Oreo Cookie Commercial" type of relationships with our dads. Sometimes dads aren't very nice people and it's perfectly okay to not want a relationship with them. Just make peace with it however you can. Forgive as soon as you can. And go forward knowing that you are okay. You are complete. You are whole. You are worthy. You are PERFECT.