I am not sure I would have asked the question. Too many people have experienced abuse, abandonment, failure to love, and more from their fathers. Too many fathers have died too young. Too many wounds remain unhealed.
“What is your favorite memory of your father or your father figure?” Bob Brashear, pastor of West-Park Presbyterian Church, asked near the end of his sermon today.
My first thoughts went to those who had negative experiences of their fathers. I felt my heartstrings tightened as I considered the profound pain the simple question could touch.
Images of my father, gone too long, filled my head and heart. He was not perfect. None of us are. But he was a good, good man who loved me and my brother and sister well.
Memories came at me as thick as gnats on a hot, sultry night. When it came my turn to speak, I went with my first memories:
“Baseball. Playing catch in the back yard. Going to games. Baseball. In Pittsburgh.” I remembered, although I did not share, that as I child, when I would have to go to bed before a Pirates game finished, I would wake up in the morning to find a piece of paper with the score written in my father’s handwriting.
Memories. Blessed memories. As I rejoice in mine, my heart goes out to those who know pain.
Happy Father’s Day to fathers, stepfathers, grandfathers, and all, male and female alike, who have filled the role of fathers.
See you along the Trail.