What have I become since that morning and what have I experienced often times can be two different paths just waiting for their moment to converge.
My dad was introspective. He was a thinker. I think this is why it seemed that whatever came out of his mouth was always so wise. He pondered a lot. He never interrupted you. He simply waited patiently for you to finish.
He was okay with sometimes saying more than just a few words while other times it was just a look. Funny, he worked at the phone company for over 40 years and never liked much to speak on the phone. I can only imagine what he would think about the phone now twelve years later.
If I were an arrow and my father was the archer, I wonder if I have hit the mark. Or perhaps the target only meets and arrow at the close of one’s final breath. And like that of my dad’s final days here on Earth, I like to think he finally hit his.
As fast as life can be, I think the lessons of our parents can often be more on a time release contract with our path. Good or bad often times it can be years before we realize the trajectory of their aim.
Good or bad I know they did their best based on them too living life as they knew it and based on their own experiences. Parenting isn’t about perfection, it is about a process. Hopefully for many, the process is a trajectory that will guide one to hit their mark not only in that last breath, but time again throughout life.
Sadly, I know a lot of people who didn’t have that. Many people who didn’t have the opportunity to see a parent or both work it out and find resolve in their own skin. Instead rather, they bailed leaving a child weaving through life with no rudder but that weighed heavily down by a fear of abandonment.
My heart breaks here.
I like to think that perhaps I am working it out too. I like to think that perhaps that which I am seeing in my father in this very picture is that which is the mark he has left behind for me to hit.
12 years can do a lot for bringing one perspective. I miss my dad now more than ever. But as I look back and ponder who he was, it makes me view that which I am now only beginning to see through an entirely new set of lenses.
And like that of a time release campaign of contemplative living, the view from these new lenses look much different now. I think only now am I beginning to see something in the distance that looks a lot like a welcoming party eagerly awaiting one to meet their mark.
We’ll see. Only time will tell. Perhaps time will only tell when that of my own daughter ponders these same questions. How’d I aim Kira?
I pray well!
// March 13, 2003 // RIP Dad //