Sunday, June 21, 2009

It seems right to use a father's quote for courage on Fathers' Day weekend (which is also the first weekend of summer and feels like it with temperatures over 100 and pools blissfully open.)

I thought my father, who hated guns and had never been to any wars, was the bravest man who ever lived. ~Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

Atticus Finch was, I believe an icon of the good, strong, brave, gentle, tender father for much of my generation, surely he was for me. In honor, courage of personal conviction, and devotion to family the wonderful men who have so influenced my life and those of my girls and grands are much like him. They deserve and extra courage quote.

It is curious that physical courage should be so common in the world and moral courage so rare. ~Mark Twain

This weekend I honor men of moral and physical courage, living and dead. I miss my own Daddy, honor Bob's Dad, who still is the head and heart of the male line of a family of world changers, feel sweet sadness and nostalgia for Kerry, young Daddy of my daughters, who did not live to see them grow up, and my young friend Paul who did not make it to his first Father's day with his baby daughter. I think of James, who is doing a good job of loving his kids through difficult changes, and Tracy whose eyes glow when he holds baby Andrea. I think of Chris, who was grieving one baby and hoping for another one this time last year, and now is the very very happy and proud father of very present Liam. I see Danny and Zachary tender and protective of their baby sister and imagine the fathers, good fathers, they will be in time. I honor Bill, Mark, Funny Joe, Dr. Bill, My own Uncle Rudy, both Davids, Danny and ROcker - all the good me who have been kind and strong and influenced us for good.

But mostly, though, feel love and appreciation for Bob who not only saw but helped them grow up and loves and is loved by them still. Blended families are hard - harder than I ever dreamed - and worth every tear and effort. I'm so glad we became the family we are. Poem for today is for Bob- whose goodness has been one of the major touchstones of my adult life.

No One Day

There was no one day
I finally knew I trusted
you, myself, the kids,
no one day perfect connection
fell in like magic and
fear shed like faded feathers.
There was no one day
I finally knew we were
family for real, for keeps,
no matter what. No one
day. But I know it now.

Victoria Hendricks
June 18, 2009

4 comments:

Peggy said...

This is such a beautiful posting here about fathers. I do hope all these fathers in your life come here to read your words of honor. And I hope they all feel honored to have you in their lives. I like the quotes as well. Funny I never particularly thought of Atticus Finch as a father-figure. A good man with all those qualities for sure, but I never focused on him as a father.

Ruth said...

I love your blended family poem--and I love our Bob Thank you for bringing me him and all my other fathers.

Bob Hendricks said...

Wow! Thanks!

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