Honoring my father - The Lord's Prayer
The Telephone rings early in the morning and my sisters and I dash over to answer it. The red phone was my father's private line for medical emergencies, (i.e. - a rat in a humble abode in the outskirts of the city limits chewed off a newborn's toes; a farm worker fell off a horse; a lady had gone into labor, on and on), yet religiously, every morning, there was a call for us from my father. Always delightful words welcoming our voices with joy and laughter gave way to the core reason for that call. Lovingly, yet sternly my father requested that we each recite the Lord's Prayer in English - Our Father, Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name; Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen. - And so we did, eloquently, proudly and enthusiastically with full understanding of every word.
Although a self proclaimed atheist, he remained committed to duties of a Roman Catholic father, while emphasizing the power of self expression through simple words. "Speak to God as you speak to me - with respect - He hears you as I hear you. You have so much to be thankful for, pray for the less fortunate, and ask him to forgive you for things you may have done wrong. We are all created equal, and our goal on Earth is peace and love." These were my fathers words - words any child can understand, and words that resonate in my subconscious as I write them.
Father's Day approaches, and vivid memories of my childhood surface much more so than ever, thus I must jot these down for record keeping of sorts, to seize specific moments of my journey and to share lessons learned. These sparks of mind will undoubtedly follow as simple snippets in his honor, until the voice of my heart dictates.