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Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Fatherly advice...

... I've never talked much here about advice a son gets from a father.

Now, I know that I believe in the father daughter bond. I know that there are so many things we're told by our parents we wish we wouldn't have been told, or that we've passively listened too while sorting out things which we believe we have a handle on when it comes to living this life we all lead daily.

But there's something sage about the words we get from our fathers.

In fact, recently, I received some words which resonated like a roar from the long since silenced by time voice of my grandfather, through the conduit of my father - which made me take pause.

I'll try to free it of dogmatic tones as much as I can for the sake of those who don't prescribe to the higher power of my immediate family. Please just understand if it does find it's way to 'come through' and understand that what I'm about to write could be assigned to whatever higher power governs your internal compass...

Recently, when talking to my father about something which - for reasons I want to withhold so that they remain uniquely mine and exclusive to my family and me - my dad and I had a moment. Advice from a talk between me and my father who is far more brilliant than I will ever be - as I drove down Rockville Pike.

A talk with a scientist by life's standards but a mentor by my own - even though I never give him as much credit as he has earned, and deserves, after three decades.

"I know you don't want to hear this from me," he said as if to preface a lesson from a teacher to a class of one which at times can be hard headed, self reliant, stubbornly resilient and selfishly self absorbed.

The following is edited for religious dogma and content, but the context is true.

Know that my dad and I don't generally talk about religious things... unless of course it's weighing on his heart and as a result - on mine.

So my father had my undivided attention.

And I was listening.

He continued.

"As a believer in our families faith, you can call on a discernment which will give you wisdom to understand what you're going through..."

That night, I cracked open a book of ancient teachings for the first time in some time. In it were cards from ex partners, a relationship contract which had been ripped apart but taped back together, pictures of my child at her birth and a note I received from my grandmother which she typed to me at a time when life had made her hand somewhat shaky, but which did not cloud the content from a mind - her mind which spoke of that which she wanted me to hear in that note... each tucked safely into that book for safe keeping along side passports and copies of Kyla's - and my - birth certificates.

So in these words which surround my life's most important documents, as if they were a safe for life's safe keeping.... As if it were a place to which I'd return often - but would return to listen when time presented the right opportunity... I found some words which I needed to see.

Lessons which life needed me to learn and comprehend.

Words which brought me an understanding of the truth about that which I needed to understand at that moment the other evening.

And life - as it always does - taught me some amazing lessons...

... in and through some timeless words.

Amazing. Right?

So time brought me this opportunity the other night.

And in it I found a peace that passes understanding. In these ancient words, spoken by many lifetimes ago, I found again the ability to let go, to let a higher power take hold, and to dive off the high diving board into the deep end of life that we govern with faith.

And it all came from the catalyst which is and forever will be my father.

Being a father means at times you are the patriarch. You're the example for what the generation you've produced - will bring.

And sometimes, being a dad means you have to be that which reminds a son to listen to a still small voice which is ready to be heard...

... even when you think you don't remember how to listen.

Thank you, Daddy. I love you.

Your son.