Before You Go.

Dear dad,

Michelle and I watched Field of Dreams last night, one of your favorites. I never asked you why it was though. I would assume partly the baseball side of it, but most likely there is more than that. I never asked you about your relationship with your dad because I never knew him. I’d really like to know now. I never asked what your childhood was like, how you grew up and what you were like as a teenager. I would very much like to know now. I couldn’t see past your disease to ask you. I thought it was probably too hard to ask about the times you were healthy when you were younger. I thought the memories of all you were able to do before might be too painful. I was also too worried about my own sacrifices to take much interest in yours. Now I realize that reflecting on memories can go two ways- the path of gratitude or the path of hopeless nostalgia. We can wish what had been will happen again, long for the “good old days” or seemingly golden times and think of them as the best it can get, but as Aslan says to Lucy in C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia series, “things never happen the same way twice.” Or we can be grateful they happened the way they did and welcome the way things are happening now, even the bleakest of happenings. There is always light to be found and joy to be had. It is our choice to seek it out moment to moment, though the darkness may seem too thick and overbearing. I don’t think these paths are clear cut either. Without a doubt, some of the hopeless nostalgia finds its way onto the path of gratitude. I think you would have walked determinedly on gratitude even with all the reasons to indulge hopelessness.

Why did you have to leave before we could talk about these things over a cup of coffee and a scone? Before I could introduce you to the boy I was dating and be overjoyed with your approval or have rejected the red flags you pointed out. Before I could ask you how you knew mom was the girl you were going to marry and not have been satisfied with “You just know.” Before Adam was a man and looked to you to see what being a father is really all about. Before you walked me down the aisle, letting me go from your arms to his.



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