Not long ago, I lost my father as my own journey of fatherhood had just begun.
For much of my life, dad was emotional blunt force trauma. A ranting cowboy drunk by night with an impeccable work ethic by day. And God help us on the weekends. The scars were deep, the distance vast, but the love was there. As we both collected years, and maybe a little wisdom, we realized we liked each other and worked hard to get closer. In his calmer, later years, my father’s gentle southern voice and no-bullshit counsel always oriented me. Early mornings on the lake talking, laughing, or saying nothing. I wish there had been more of them. Dad’s presence was a roof over the world, a kind of mythic shelter. I had come to rely on it as I endeavored to be that same kind of shelter over the life of my own son, Ranger.
I wasn’t prepared for how vulnerable becoming a parent would render me. I felt the dial of my every sensitivity cranked up and red lining. To love something as much as I love my kid is frightening. To shepherd that love through a world as broken as this one, even more so. I know I must become everything dad was to me and more.
Thank you for listening. There is more to come.