Father’s Day

by jth

A short post on the day, made up of photos and a few reflections.

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My own dad and I, on my wedding day. Though we don’t exactly favor each other in looks, we share the same first name. If ever there was a man who let his actions speak for him, it’s this guy. Those who know him know that he doesn’t always have a lot to say, but you’d be hard-pressed to find another man who works harder than he does, while also being a master of his craft. If I ever come close to possessing the sort of skill as a lawyer that he has as a carpenter, I’d be one of the best trial attorneys in Arkansas. Moreover, I’ve learned a lot over the years about how to deal with other people, in business and elsewhere, by watching him. As I set out on my own in my career, he’s provided a good example for me.

I’m thankful to have been born to, and raised by, this man. Life is never perfect; sometimes he was away working when I had wished he was around. But, he always did what he had to do to take care of his family, to give us more than he had. He still does that today. I regret that he never was able to meet his grandson; a grandson who would have shared his name had he survived.

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2013-03-26 15.46.06

I am, by the technical definition, a father. Yet I’m not one in the sense I know others to be; I have no child in the home to care and provide for; to raise; to set an example for; to love. A good many of my male friends have children now, and I’m sure that today they are (deservedly) enjoying the affection and adoration of their children. Many are also enjoying the appreciation of their significant other, or their own parents’ expressions of pride.

But Father’s Day really is for those dads. They’ve earned it. It’s not for dads like me; it’s just another day in a long line of days spent thinking about what might have been, and remembering the short time that was.

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2013-06-16 11.27.07

This is Matthew’s urn. His remains inside, it sits on the shelf beside our bed. My daily ritual includes some time spent looking at it, even if just for a moment, thinking and reflecting. The metal box sits silently, giving no adoration or affection, just a cold reflection of the light shining on it.

But at least I know that he is with us in some sort of way, and that makes the days — especially today — bearable.

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