In the movie, Secret Life of Bees, Lily shoots her mom accidentally when she is a child. Her mom was leaving Lily’s dad, T-Ray, and coming back to get Lily. T-Ray was angry, and as Lily tries to hand her mom the gun, she shoots her. Lily is left with a wound of feeling unlovable, and T-Ray is empty, avoids all feeling and becomes bitter. He tells Lily her momma left and was only coming back for her things that day. Lily leaves him when she is older, not believing her mother didn’t come back for her. She and their nanny Rosaleen end up at August Boatwright’s house, which is where her mom went when she left T-Ray because August took care of her as a child. Lily doesn’t realize this until after she has stayed there for a while. Fast forward to the end, T-Ray finds Lily at the Boatwright’s house and ends up letting her stay. As he drives off, Lily runs from the house to ask him why he lied about her mother just coming to get her things and not Lily. He tells her he lied because she wasn’t coming back for him. T-Ray leaves. Lily looks back at August, Rosaleen and June all standing on the porch waiting for her. She says,
“I don’t believe T-Ray was saying ‘good riddance’ as he left. He was saying, ‘Lily, you are better off here with all these mothers.’ I have more mothers than any three girls off the street. They are the moon shining over me.”
As I have been going to adoration, I think I have been with more men than women. Maybe it is just because I go later at night, but I don’t think so really. I have gotten to know a couple guys, in particular, Tom and Ed. Tom knows my mom. My dad probably knew him too. I do not remember seeing Ed in the church growing up, but there is something familiar and comforting about him. It could be his name. His initials, E.B., are the same as my head coach when I played soccer at TCU, Eric Bell. Out of all the coaches in my career, I would not say I was the closest with Eric, that is, until my dad died sophomore year. The morning I found out he died, not 5 minutes after I was on the phone with my mom in the RA’s office of the dorm, Eric was running through the parking lot to me as I was leaving the building. I can still see the look on his face as if it is plastered on my eyes. A look suffused with concern and heartbreak. Quite opposite of his usual careful side hugs, he wraps me in his six-foot plus frame and holds me close to him. A hug only a father can give. Little did he know then how I would cherish this memory and how it would become forever a special bond between us. Little did I know then this is what us “s_fs” feel as a hole in our hearts, the protection, safety, and love of a tender embrace from a man. Maybe this is what I feel with Ed.
The other guy is Tom’s friend, Jim. I don’t see him as often. Though, I have come to know him more recently. He asks about soccer and sweetly tells me not to forget him when I become famous one day. He asked whether he would see me on TV. I assured him I wouldn’t forget, even if I do end up famous on TV.
One night as I left, all three had been in there with me. They waved as I closed the door to the chapel, and I wished them all a good night. I was walking to the parking lot when it occurred to me God surrounded me with fathers through adoration. I don’t know if those men are biological fathers, it doesn’t matter. They are to me. I have more fathers than any three girls off the street, and as the moon was shining over me that night, so do they.