Belated Father's Day Letter
Dear children of the house of Blase,
You know I read a lot of Jim Harrison and he uses this line - only God knows how much I love you - in several of his novels. Harrison stole that line from Gabriel Garcia Marquez, who no doubt stole it from somebody else. Anyway, only God knows how much I love you. I'm proud of the three of you, I truly am. You're sweet to kids younger than you and respectful to those old enough to be your grandparents. I believe we as a people are known by how we treat the very young and the very old...based on that, you guys are battin'a' thousand.
I realize some evenings I fall asleep watching the first round of Wipeout. I'm sorry. I used to wonder why my grandfather did that of an evening, even my dad does that. Well, I now know why - they were worn slap out from working all day trying to give me something they didn't have and I'm not just talking about stuff. Those men, from whose cloth I'm cut, worked a full day to provide food, clothes, shelter, opportunities, and love. I believe they did it willingly, as do I, but it'll wear on you. Some of that is no doubt due to that fig eating party in Eden...its a heavy curse. Some days I'm strong, others I'm weak...just wipe the drool off my chin and get me the slanket.
I've been meaning to ask you this - do you think your dad is happy? I so hope you experience me as a lover of life, but I'm not always sure...I can be a rather melancholy mule. You are, however, the best judges of that, so your opinion counts big-time. I so want you to know, deep within your marrow, that its a wonderful life, that this cockeyed existence is pure gift and nothing else. Yes, there's a lotta suffering and sin and death and dying, but there's just as many lilacs blooming outside your windowsill and babies coming crying into this world so fresh from God and Gordon Lightfoot singing about the Edmund Fitzgerald...sometimes you've gotta look for it, scratch hard, but the wonder is there, always, always, always. I pray one of these days, when I'm dead and gone, that you'll sit around and say daddy sure loved this world, didn't he? And one of you will reply God only knows how much.
Two quick things. I've noticed you fighting with each other in the house lately. It drives your mom plum batty, but I'm inclined to give you a little rein. That's due to the fact that I've seen you stand up for each other out there, in the neighborhood. I hope you'll always do that, stand up for each other that is. You're family and that word means something. It gets rather diluted in our current infatuation with all things global, but I want you to hang on to each other, come hell or high water. If and when you're married with kids, or even if you're not, I want you to call each other. I don't do that enough with my brother, your uncle Shawn, and it grieves my heart because only God knows how much I love him. And while you're at it, call your parents too...you don't have to talk long, just let us hear your glorious voices so we know you're alright because that's really what we, your parents, desire - that you're alright. AND remember, as Spiderman tells us, that with great power comes great responsibility. I tend to equate power with love...so, with great love comes great responsibility. You've been born into a loving family...not everyone has that power. Be gentle with people. Not all, but most folks just want to be loved...maybe God only knows how much.