Monday, March 19, 2007


It seems that what is nurtured, thrives. What is cherished becomes radiant. There is something magic, in praise. It becomes true. We rise up to be worthy of it. Faith calls forth honor. Not out of nothing, mind you. Out of trust. To be respected by someone who is respectable is warmth and light and every necessary thing. That’s what I gave to my son. What should I expect, but that it return to me a hundredfold?

I am pleased with his common sense and intelligence, with his ambition, with his character. I’ve said it before in these pages, but we repeat things that are important to us. I’m pleased that he’s normal. I’m more than pleased. I am more than pleased. Normal? It means he has a chance for happiness.

I have difficulty sometimes understanding how I can be so blessed. It is true that I was an excellent father. It’s what I did best, and if I should look back on the arid march of my life, still there is a long stretch in that twisted road, of order and beauty. My son, you see, is my vindication.

Families are of course an attempt to be whole. Some woman, to complete the man. A son, that the man might undo the harm that was done to himself. The individuals are almost interchangeable ... if they haven’t been ruined. Love is just another word for commitment. But once there is love, they become indispensable. Yes, it is arbitrary. God deals out souls into babies according to some game theory that has not been identified. It hardly makes a difference. Love is a choice. We will love them when they bless us, and we will love them when they break our hearts.

Now, these years after my son has left me, boy to man, he returns for a short time. And I find that I am respected, by someone who is respectable. I am honored by an honorable man. These years that have been so dark for me grow bright. I cannot say what the future will be. The troubled wake behind me argues against it, but I have hope. Perhaps someone has faith in me -- perhaps he doesn’t know it yet. But I am loved.

And if tears have streamed down my face as I write this, no one need ever know.



brent said...

This is one of your more exceptional posts. Saying, "Good job" pales in comparison. It is eating the fruit of your labor - the bread that has returned to you.

Jack H said...

What would the world be like, if we loved one another the way we love the ones we love? The very thought of it almost makes me want to try it. But we know what happens to saints. And so we always have a reason, if not an excuse, to guard our hearts.

But even still. Should I try it? Who should I start with? You?

And, uh ... "one" of my exceptional posts? Sir. Must I say it?