Before the plague locked up all the places where people gather, I used to visit St. Patrick’s Cathedral once in a while and light a candle in memory of my dad. Unlike me, he was a deeply religious man, and it gave me an opportunity to contemplate the intersection of his life and mine.
The last time I went, I sat in a pew over by St. Jude, the patron saint of lost causes. I expected to use that contemplative time to ask my father for help and guidance with some issues I was confronting, but a funny thing happened on the way to the pew: I realized that he had already given them to me.
Dad’s religion was not the preachy type. He was never one to tell anyone how they should live their life. He preferred to lead by example. He showed us how to live by his love for his partner, and by raising his children to be intellectually curious and kind-hearted. So, instead of asking him for his help, I thanked him for it.
Today is my 25th Father’s Day as a father. Except for the one that produced him, the relationship I have with my son is the most important to me. The line that runs backward through my father, and forward through my son, is the tightrope I walk every day. Thanks to both of them, it affords me a vision that is endless and breathtaking in its beauty.