Which Brother am I?
(Writer's Note: The final -6th- in a Series)
"But he was angry and he would not go in. Therefore his father came out and pleaded with him."
Luke 15:28 (NKJV)
This writer is compelled to complete this series of personal family reflections in a bow to Father's Day. It all begins with our Father. It all ends with our Father. Our recent journey of two brothers which included visiting the graves of fathers, mothers and aunts who would be sisters, also involved stories of "Dads" who stood in for and in place of fallen and passed fathers. And a brother who filled in as father from time to time.
I believe we all have afflictions in one form or another. We are all in recovery from a tendency to turn in on ourselves. The reader might recognize the response, "No thanks, I got this." We are either the prodigal son or his brother; either Mary or sister Martha (Luke 10:38-42). We all need release. I pray daily, "Release me Father".
On this trip we visited the home of a close relative. We were not sure that she would receive us. For she had spent her life trying to put distance between herself and her birth father. It had been around fifty years since I had seen her last as an infant. Perhaps the depth and pervasiveness of a pain born of abandonment would dissipate. Thankfully this accomplished business woman opened up and we got to visit with her! She showed us two distinct keepsakes which spoke of her life. giving me a special insight: my view from the Prodigal Point:
My new friend then proceeded to describe the first item, "This is my baby chair. I sat in this chair waiting for my father to come home! For years I sat in this chair and looked out the window for my father. He never came home."
Hal and I had been in conversation with her mother the evening before our visit. We learned that a step father, the man who would marry her mother, was a prince of a man. This step father would become "Dad" and a rich, deep and everlasting love would blossom between "Dad" and daughter. And then the wounded lady told us about her "Dad" in a glowing dissertation of adoration. This man who would be "Dad" passed in 2015. He also left behind for family a vast and panoramic legacy. And then the lady took us to see the second item, explaining that "Dad" was an artist. We stood in awe gazing at the mural hanging above the stairway landing.
A gift from our Father
My brothers' and my father Harold died in 1964. As baby of the family, I was twelve and did not really get to know him well. Through others' eyes I know he was revered and respected. Our mom Jeanne, over a decade later, would marry a man named Alfred. (See: Requiem Letters: 11/18/16) We knew him as "Papa Al" and he was, as well, a prince of a man!
Jeanne and Harold meet Leonard Bernstein
Jeanne and Papa Al
Here is what I believe: We are all in recovery from our afflictions and need release from them. Our Creator- Father God- places people in our path of life. They are our angels along the Way. Some fallen or falling serve to bring us pain. Some risen or rising serve to lift us up. Some are the prodigal son, some the brother; some Martha, some Mary. All serve to bring us to the Father's purpose. As well, so are we here to serve our Father's purpose!
"for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you."
Amen Dad and Papa Al