To all my husband’s kids,
I want you to know your dad. I want you to know him the way I know him, to see him as the hero, the fighter, the rock – well, not The Rock because that dude is crazy – and to see him as one of the kindest-hearted, most compassionate forgiving men you will ever know.
And there will be times, I guarantee it, that you won’t see him this way. There will be times when what you want and what he wants for you won’t align, and you will be angry and rage against him in words, actions, fits, and I pray, oh how I pray, you will quickly see his kind heart – the one that has lived longer than yours, that has seen more than yours, who has thought through much more of life than you have – and that you will begin to see with his heart, and you will learn to trust him more every passing year.
And I also guarantee a day when things will make more sense to you, when the reality of life, the stories that you don’t understand right now, will start to mean something to you as you piece together all the joys and the sorrows of the past. You will come to know the depths of your dad’s love and commitment to you. It will be revealed to you bit by bit, through your own commitments and from that time you fall in love to the time you hold your own little one, that you will make hard choices, just like your dad, and I pray you will then truly appreciate and honor all he has done to keep you safe and in his arms.
I want you to know how he prays for you, pleads for you, breaks for you. I want you to know that he rejoices over you, weeps for you for both the pain and the beauty that he sees in your hearts. He negotiates for you, works hard to provide for you, gives up his free time, his personal space, his rest, so that you have comfort and warmth and food and peace.
Your dad is a hero and a warrior. But he isn’t perfect. He will get mad. He will get too despairing. He will allow his sin and the sins of others to crawl into his heart and take up space. He will be frustrated, not knowing what to do. He will make the wrong choice, or the right choice for the wrong reasons. But this much I know, when he falls, he will ask for grace. He will come to you and ask for forgiveness. He will not wait long to admit his failure, and in that moment you will be his hero when you willingly, freely forgive him. And if you are paying any attention to him so far, you will have learned to do this quickly and well.
I want you to pray for your dad, to know that he carries all of us on his shoulders. I want you to want to know him, to hear his stories, to see how he was very much like you are now, to know that he wants nothing more than for you to find your way and be a blessing to all those who know you. He wants the world for you, but more than that, he wants you to know everything he does and is and will be comes from one place – His Father. The Father he emulates, the one he wants to be most like. Because in all the things I said so far, he is just a glimpse of the Father who made you, gave you all good things and all the hard things that will make you grow up to be a strong beautiful person. How much we both want you all to know the Holy Father’s great love for you and that all we do and all that has happened so far and all that will happen is for you to see Him clearer.
Your dad will always love you, will always be your dad, will always be waiting on the porch for you wherever you roam. Know it, believe it.
(from Darth Vader and Son by Jeffrey Brown)