It’s a happy-enough moment of me and the children in this photo from Father’s Day 10 years ago. But today’s thoughts are about grieving as much as anything. Because it was just another morning with the sun established in the sky when the children’s mother, leaving the house, said what she did. “All our fathers,” is all she said. Her eyes welled up while she hugged me. Her broken
Today’s news from the Daily Dad is that if you stick around this fatherhood business long enough, you’ll feel a bit inadequate, if not like some flying villain. But don’t let it get you down because it means that you’re in the game, so to speak, and maybe even its hero.
Today we’re going to talk about the boy. Child #2. My son. You may have a boy also. And if he hasn’t yet put his head inside the open mouth of an alligator, then, well, congratulations. My boy announced recently that he’s going to jump from a plane.
It’s the other day and, unbeknownst to me, an old friend of mine, a Canadian we knew from Yemen way back in the day, is about to become a father. His name is Gabriel and, funny thing, I recently mentioned him in a column about my mother. (More on that in a minute.) Gabe’s wife [...]
(The Hamilton Spectator - Saturday, August 27, 2016) HAMILTON, CANADA ✦ It was a different time and place on the day I watched another human being die in my father’s arms. I was just a boy. Bert had epileptic seizures, medically uncontrollable then. Tall and lanky, he’d crumple and fall hard on the floor in the house, or outside under the apple tree, or in places between, shaking, convulsing, rigid as a board. I’d watch. All the time. Bert lived with us.
In the end, we are story as much as we are anything. This is one reason why it works so well, this movie, Boyhood, which follows in real time filming the life of a boy who, over the span of a dozen or so years, grows up. It’s a remarkable movie-making twist -- thank you Richard Linklater [...]
(The Hamilton Spectator - Saturday, June 14, 2014) HAMILTON, CANADA ✦ The sad truth is that the world is full of Charlie Gray sort of people who have listened to all the wrong voices and spent entire swaths of the only life they have doing things that haven’t mattered to them in the least, and, in the grand scheme of things, have mattered little to others also. They’re people like in John Marquand’s novel “Point of No Return,” where Charlie Gray, after years of apple-polishing, is finally named vice-president of that fancy little New York bank, the promotion that finally gives him and his family the security they need.
(The Hamilton Spectator – Saturday, December 21, 2013) ENTEBBE, UGANDA ✦ It’s the end of another year of words. Words that have routinely informed us and words that have even sometimes, like summer snow, given a fresh look at everyday things. Like what happened recently in Africa during my children’s nightly reading, a story both troubling and reassuring. “You know,” I said, after, “things will happen in your life. Bad things. And nobody will be able to save you from them. I won’t be able to and neither will your mother. But let me tell you something. God loves to take these sorts of things and turn them into something good.”