Celebrating a Mentor
I always remember - August 6.
It's a day that shines brighter.
It's a day to be adventurous. Go out for a drive - the way he loved to do. Every Sunday we would go for a drive through the mountains. Often we went to see the monkeys at Bridal Falls. Yes - there used to be a tiny cage at the entrance to the falls with six or seven monkeys in it. And we would just stare at them for about 15 minutes and that would be enough. They were so happy to see us.
August 6 is a day to eat something yummy. We would inevitably stop for an ice cone, or at least a root beer at the A&W.
It's a day to sit down - often at the dining room table or in a lawn chair on the lawn - and just think. My father had the capacity to reflect deeply about life, about the scriptures and about the people around him. After having spent some time, deep in thought, he would talk to us about it, summarizing his insights.
To tell you the truth, when I started writing this all out, wanting to capture the journey that led to the writing of the book, I had no idea exactly how important my father had been to me. I had a sense of it and even dedicated the book to him, knowing that he provided the seed for my thoughts on forgiveness.
However I didn't know the scope.
It's odd how memories work, at least for me. Starting to write, I think I have nothing - I won't remember - and I don't remember. But then I grab the end of the string of one memory and it all begins to unravel.
I remember an "ah ha" moment - and there in the background is my father every time. Perhaps it was because he was the one who had the capacity to define things for me, the proximity and the desire to move me, one of his children, into a better place.
So I am shocked and delighted to put it all down.
And yes - there are times when the memory seems unreal. "Could that have really happened?" I've even had to check with my sister about some of it. Like the way we as cousins used the shoes of a man sleeping it off in his car on our yard for home base in a game of tag. Really? Yes - we really did.
I marvel. I marvel at the importance of one mentor. I marvel at the capacity of one man to be able to stand the examination of another - so interested, so demanding, and so critical.
I am so grateful - that he was there. And that he passed all my tests.
I am inspired to want to live more fully, more intensely, and more truthfully - just in case someone is watching. Just in case it matters to someone.
“I believe that what we become depends on what our fathers teach us at odd moments, when they aren't trying to teach us. We are formed by little scraps of wisdom.” ― Umberto Eco, Foucault's Pendulum