My Father Al; A Living Tribute


It may seem a bit odd to pay tribute to another human in the form of an obituary but what good are expressions about someone if they, for whom they are written, are unable to hear and know the depth of feeling a Son can have for his Father.

My Father Al came into my life after I had ruled out all adult humans as trustworthy and protective of those they were charged with caring for. My real father had left without having any contact and my life as I knew it then was forever over. I never even gave my Father Al a chance to be a friend let alone a father to whom I would look up to. He was just another Man, human if you will, who like so many others would find ways to hurt, abandon and abuse me and make my life a hell that would haunt me endlessly. I kept him at a distance but I never stopped observing his quiet, steady ways. Beyond that I never gave him much thought. He was not much more than an inconvenient intruder in my own already defective life.

As I grew older, I began to take upon myself, with great pride, the idea that having lost my biological father, I could pick and choose the men who passed through my life and take from them characteristics I admired and wanted to emulate. I prided myself on the great variety of virtues I was able to draw upon as well as the men from whom I would draw them. I threw my admiration at certain men from many walks of life and eagerly observed and adopted characteristics I felt were necessary to my own character building. Things like integrity, honesty, hard work, devotion to family, self-sacrifice, humor and love of life. As I sought these things, always, Al was in the background.

One rarely knows the “hows” of our experiences. Most of us come to a place in our lives where our own retrospection looks back on “what changed” or on “what just happened” and in silence we marvel at what we missed for so long. For me, like John Bunyan’s “Pilgrim” I travelled a long and desperate road only to circle around back to where I had started. In a moment of stark recognition I had made my way back to my original home and to that place where in my youth I had judged so harshly. The journey took me in countless directions and all that I ever sought was always right there where I had begun. The greatest of all men was there in my own backyard. He had not changed but I had. I now had eyes that could see that where I began, and where I had ended was at his feet. And in a silent moment of recognition, at one so great, I am humbled in his presence.

The light has never shined so bright as when I have been with him. My Father Al was everything I ever sought and even with the passage of time being so long before my own recognition I feel as though I have never “not” known. This is because of Him, as well. In all my travels he has never judged. He has loved as only a father could and I have felt that love and it is inexpressible. What was once the “least” to me, is the greatest!

My Father Al has gone home to a place we all know and from whence we have all come. He is with his “greatest of all possessions,” as he referred to my Mother, whom he adored every moment of his life. Another great quality of the man! We are forever drawn to the place he now enjoys but more importantly we are drawn to him. Like a fortress or a stand of trees or the inexorable pull of the moon upon the waters he will always be the force that draws us ever closer to eternity. The light in a dark place, never looking back but always looking forward. He is our guide, a sentinel, not guarding the way but protecting us along the way.

My Father holds many places in our hearts. To some he is “Al,” while to others he is “Dad,” while to some he is “Brother Yates” or “Grandpa” or just “Yates.” Some even know him as “Handsome.” Whatever the name we knew him as or the description of him we hold we are all united in our love for him and he always reciprocated by loving us. Not in grand and showy ways but quietly, completely and most of all purely.

Rest well my Father and know that in this place we celebrate the life of one so good we are all humbled to have been a part of the vast universe you created. Go in peace and know that we all love you.

I love you. God bless you my sweet Dad.

Your Son,

Image

Awesome Man!

Carl

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Profound, dear read this morning my sweet friend. xxoo gg

    • Thanks so much Gini. Means so much! Love,

      Carl


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