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February 17, 2009

I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me if today’s post lacks cohesion. My mind and heart are in several places.

The last week had not been kind. Car repairs, financial uncertainty and health concerns have added to the laundry list of normal everyday stresses and have dominated my waking hours, as well as stubbornly draining my non-waking hours.

In fact, I was just about to email Karen and ask if someone could cover today’s post, when I got a call to tell me about the death of a friend. I’m not sure why I decided to write the post after all. Maybe it’s as simple as knowing that my friend would have berated me for shirking my responsibilities.

His death has shaken me, to be sure. He was not a healthy man, and in fact was taken to the hospital 2 weeks ago. But he had begun to recover. The weight his wife and son were carrying on their shoulders was beginning to lift. And I suppose that all thought he would recover because he was so stubborn.

But it is not the moderate surprise of his death that has shaken me. His son, who has become a rather close friend in the last couple of years, is only seventeen years old—precisely the age at which I lost my own father. I was very close friends with my father, as was this young man with his own father, and all day my thoughts have lingered on the difficulties he will face in becoming a man, without the guidance and support of his father.

It’s a fine challenge for a character—to be thrust into a situation he is unprepared for. But sometimes the things that make good fiction make for a bad reality.

  1. February 17, 2009 6:19 am

    Losing a parent is never easy, at any age for a child. Be heartened to know that your friend has left his son a wonderful legacy – that of your friendship.

    While your friend will not be there to guide and support his son, he has ensured that his son has strong links and bonds with other responsible men.

    Australian author Steven Biddulph says that boys, as they grow into their teenage years need strong mentors/role models … who in many ways support the roles that fathers play in their sons’ lives

    And you are right – good fiction does make bad reality … but the experience always makes our fiction resound with far more authenticity – though right now that’s of little comfort.

    Keep well

  2. February 17, 2009 7:56 am

    I am sorry to hear about the loss of your friend and about the difficult time you’re going through. My thoughts are with you and yours.

  3. February 19, 2009 12:57 am

    Sorry to hear about your friend. I know it’s hard. My thoughts and prayers are with you and his family.

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