MY FATHER’S COMMANDS

“My son, keep your father’s command…”

I was 19 and half when my father got to cross over his life bridge. He was 52.

It wasn’t much time together. My time without him has been greater than my time with him – – – and yet – – –

1959 minst

Director B.A. “Mike” Ferris

45 years later…

A suspended heartbeat between us…

The swirls of prismatic memories endure.

Strong arms navigating my tiny self up steep, narrow stairs, singing a hymn and tucking me into a single bed, carved with the initials USMC, tracing them until my hand drops lazily onto my blankie. Deep voice guiding me over icy bumps as I struggle to stay upright, gripping the tall, metal, kitchen chair that I might find my balance. Writing my starry initials in the foggy darkness of my dreams. Strong fingers rubbing the ricocheting pain from trembling knee on a chilly fall night. Long car rides between small town life and city life with miles of wisdom, laughter and singing spread to cover out like a tablecloth to span the entire distance.

This is the man I call “Father’.

This is the man who carved the WORD on the woody, thorny stems of my choices.

This is the man who showed me LOVE – in the way he lived his life with his family, his community and his country.

eastern star 1970 bHappy Father’s Day, Dad. Those 19 and half years are the touchstones that continue to surround my life and allowing me to see the LIGHT in the darkness of my own iniquities. And while the torch in my hand flickers at times, I’ll keep passing it on just like you taught me – one mile at a time until I get to cross my own life bridge.

“…and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. Bind them always on your heart;fasten them around your neck. When you walk, they will guide you; when you sleep, they will watch over you; when you awake, they will speak to you. For this command is a lamp, this teaching is a light, and correction and instruction are the way to life,” Prov 6:20-23

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