Many of us face Father’s Day without our Dads. Even for an adult, the process of losing of a father can leave us adrift and bereft. On an intellectual level, we know it’s inevitable, yet the reality can hit us with a tornado of emotions, and sometimes when we least expect it. This piece was written as my Dad was dying, twelve years ago this year. I mark the years by the age of my first grand-daughter. My son placed his newborn daughter in the crook of her great-grandpa’s arms, the day before he dyed. I’ll never forget the look of pure joy on Dad’s face and the way he squeezed little Emma close to his heart.
When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, and I thought as a child. But when I became an adult, I grew far beyond my childhood, and now I have put away the childish ways.
– 1 Corinthians 13, 11
This verse keeps running through my mind. The one persistent thought among a kaleidoscope of memories that wash over me like waves against a lone rock on the beach. Each time the passage enters my consciousness; I end it with this thought: I was about eight when I put away my childish ways.
When I was brand new at the job I’ve had for nearly a decade, I called one of my best friends. She’s been my friend since grade school.
“I’m the Most Responsible Person.” I explain, over the phone, about my new position as head of Regulatory Affairs for a small pharmaceutical company. “Whenever I submit papers to the Agency, there’s a line that asks for ‘the most responsible person’. That’s me!”
This woman, who’s known me for so long, laughs a deep, from the belly laugh. “You’ve been