Wow, I didn’t think I’d get asked this as well.
I think it’s really a matter of sunshine after the rain.
I’m sure there must have been a period of time when they were not on talking terms with each other, and the family dynamics have been strained in the past.
Remember Hoya’s tears when Ali sang ‘Father' on Immortal Song? I think the lyrics matched how he must have felt during certain moments of his life, especially during his rebellious stage. The lyrics mentioned 'we loved each other, we hated each other’, ‘you were so close yet so unapproachable’, ‘please listen to my story’. His father seems to me like the common authoritative figure of an Asian dad, and as Hoya was pursuing his dreams of becoming a singer, he desperately wanted his dad’s approval, but he must have been shunned out harshly by his dad who couldn’t accept that his son was giving up police academy for a singing opportunity that was not a guaranteed success.
Our dads all want the best for us, my father too told my sister and I that we MUST graduate from University (we both did) to have a better prospect in life. That’s not completely true in this age, but who are we to deny their well intentions.
But the past is in the past, and it’s all over now isn’t it? I think their relationship have been mended since before Infinite’s Be Mine era, as you can clearly see during Sesame Player when Sungyeol went and dug out the family photo of Hoya that his whole family was present and smiling while taking the photo. In the photo, Hoya’s hair was dyed and he was flashing his idol smile which meant he had already debuted.
Plus, Hoya’s father mentioned that Hoya called him right after Be Mine’s first broadcast win and both of them cried over the phone. Clearly, his father loves him and despite the disappointment his father had in his earlier choices, he has clearly forgiven him and only wishes the best for his lovely second son.
Now onto the letter; his father actually wrote him a letter to be read out during a public broadcast. Again, as stereotypical as it sounds, Asian dads are less likely to display their affections towards their children openly to others. But his father did, and even ended it with ‘I Love You’. That’s a sweet gesture and also his father’s way to express his love for his child.
Finally, Hoya visits his family restaurant quite often too! See here, here, here, and remember when he had a ‘date’ with Sungjongie at his family restaurant where they ate donkasu salad too (sorry I couldn’t find the Tumblr post)? His family restaurant is decorated with his photos, and through fan accounts his dad even poses with fans and ask them if they’d like Hoya’s signature as well. Does that look like a strained father-son relationship? I don’t think so.
Hoya clearly respects his father a lot, even his response to his father’s letter is for him to take care of his health and that he’ll visit often. So yes, Hoya has been through tough times, but that was before, looking forward although he might not meet his family often (busy schedules) he’ll always have his dad in his highest regard.
Thanks for the question, I’m sorry it’s such a long post!