Father’s Day provides wonderful reminders of touch points that make cross-generational connections of bonds and kindredness.
Thoughts drift forward and back in time, to times when my sons were youngsters, toddlers and infants; to times when I was a youngster; to recollections of stories told to me by my dad about his life as a youngster, young adult, young man and my own memories of the man I knew as dad. My thoughts drift forward, looking with pride as my sons’ live their lives well and fully and how that will serve them well over the decades to come; forward to the next phases and stages as a grandfather, having just had the pleasure of babysitting granddaughter for a few days, which gives me pause as to time passing.
I had the chance to babysit because my oldest and his wife were on a trip that brought them through Yazoo City, Mississippi, the locale of many of my dad’s growing-up stories that my sons have heard over the years. His interest in dad’s city came from stories told about experiences. These stories are touch points. And then the stories that my son shared about what he saw, the accents he heard, and the welcome he received as a stranger have re-energized me to complete a few trips to Yazoo, Meridian, Vimville, and the Yazoo and Pearl rivers to create the images and writings I have always longed to develop as part of my curiosity about my dad’s region of origin. I want to have a book of that experience completed by April 2013, the centennial of dad’s birth.
I grew up hearing stories and shared them; I lived out my own stories and shared them; my boys heard stories and lived out their lives making their own stories; and all those stories are touch points that we can refer to with each other. The stories create a common understanding, a bond, a kindredness.
I am blessed to have had the father I had; I am blessed to have the sons I have; I am blessed to have the granddaughter I have and the grandchildren yet to come. As different human beings, we will have common connections through stories that unite us a mini-tribe, a clan…a family. Sharing our stories and sharing of ourselves create touch points, and on days like Father’s Day, we can connect many generations. We are connecting to the future.
Happy Father’s Day to all dads past, present and future; to my son who is now a dad, to my sons who have the joy of fatherhood in their future; and to my dad whose gravestone declares “He has left for us a most noble pattern.” A son could not ask for more.