Monday, June 22, 2009

Happy Father's Day

After a great Father's Day lunch w/ Mom, Dad, my brother and his in laws, I uncharacteristically decided to go to the 6:00 pm mass.

Fortunately, the hymns were easy to sing, the church wasn't crowded, and the priest spoke clear English. Had a very calming effect on me.

At the end of the mass, Fr. Jim asked all the fathers to come up for a special blessing. Up they all went: 18-year-olds who barely have facial hair to hobbling black-haired old men with inch-long silver roots; they were white, black, Filipino, Indian, Mexican... they kept coming up, surrounding the altar, these fathers that we were to honor...

And I wept.

My body shook, overwhelmed by the humanity of it all -- these men who raised and loved us, made mistakes and made us strong -- walking up to be applauded and blessed. Although my dad wasn't there with me just then, the spirit of fatherhood took over me... generations past, generations to come...

How grateful I am for the fathers in my life: Dad and my brothers, grandfathers and godfathers who have left this plane, and fathers separated from and missing their children. What responsibility you've chosen to bear! May you always know how truly important, respected and loved you are.