Posted by: ubahleeob | September 27, 2011

The Legacy

The boys a few years back, under the hot Mexican sun.

There is an episode of “Everybody Loves Raymond” where Raymond writes his father’s epitaph. Only one thing, dad is still living.  Dad finds out and hilarity ensues.   As I approach my 50th year on planet Earth, I have been thinking more and more about my own death.  Not in a macabre manner, but I think sometimes it might be healthy.  All men ask themselves these questions; have I been a good dad, a good husband, a true follower of Christ?  It’s like the final scene in Saving Private Ryan; have I been a good man? Maybe we never really grow up, we little boys always need someone to tell us we’re doing ok.    Sadly, many of us never get to hear what people really think of us until we’re dead.  (I know we don’t then either, but stick with me.)  I think that’s sad.  Life is short, the people you love might be gone before you finish reading this. Not trying to be melancholy, but our life is but a vapor.   Well, in the midst of all of this stock-taking I received an unexpected text from my oldest son.

I am blessed, I have two sons  and we share many of the same interests.  Both are musical and creative just like their dad.  Both are attempting to find what delicious adventure God has planned for their life.  Sure we disagree (like when my oldest decided that wearing make-up was the thing to do).  I am from a different generation so a difference of opinion is bound to happen.  But I think all and all we get along pretty well for a dad and his sons.

So back to the text. A couple of days ago my oldest and I had been discussing another father/son relationship.  This relationship has turned ugly like only Shakespeare can turn ugly.  This story has all the classic ingredients:  lying, betrayal, lust and greed . Great if you’re trying to write the next great American tragedy, but not so good if you’re living it.

The next morning when I checked my phone, I found this text on my phone:  “this text is to tell you you are the most amazing father I could ask for. You are the wisest man I know, and I look up to you the most out of any person in my life. I hold you in such high regard in my life that it sometimes leads to fear of you. If that makes any sense, I don’t know. I wouldn’t be the person I am today. You taught me to see sunsets as God’s paintings, you taught me to have passion. You taught to have hope no matter how hard it gets. Most importantly, you taught me what life is really about, what it’s all about, and for that I could never thank you enough.  My love and gratitude towards you is greater than a text can communicate, but always know that it is there, always know that this is how I see you.  You are the man that gave me the key to REAL life, thank you.”

As I read  through tear stained eyes, I really didn’t know what to think.  I was humbled by his words, almost looking around to see if he might be talking about someone else’s dad.  We all hope that our kids see us this way. Yet  once you are faced with it, the responsibility  of the years really hits you.  It coalesced right before my eyes. They really are watching, they really do listen.  Sort of scary and wonderful at the same time.  I have two almost adult sons, about to take the world full force in the face. They will fail and  they will succeed. They will know times of unimaginable fear and moments of transcendent bravery. These are my sons.   There is really no better legacy.

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