Dad died three months ago.
A few days before he passed, I got to spend some precious time alone with him; it was a hard, painful, beautiful day of reckoning and reconnecting. For the first time ever, Dad was fully transparent with me about his joys, regrets, hopes, doubts, and his many fears.
I drove home at the end of that day, sat in my truck and sobbed like a wounded child.
When I meet with teens in addiction recovery, they know the first question I’m going to ask. I always reserve a portion of our time together for one seemingly insignificant inquiry:
“What’s something that made you laugh?”
This past week, a couple of girls had a uniquely silly experience, and one of them made a point to take note of it. “We have to remember this to tell Bert when he asks for something funny!” she’d told her friend. And they had.
Both girls were laughing so hard, it took several minutes of gasping and happy-tear wiping to tell their funny story.
Said the night wind to the little lamb, “Do you see what I see? Way up in the sky, little lamb, do you see what I see? A star …”
If you know the song, are you like me, left wondering if the little lamb actually does see the star? I’m thinking he doesn’t, because he goes on to ask the shepherd boy about what he hears rather than what he sees.
On a recent hike along a ridge, I tried to point out something across the ravine to Laura (my near-sighted wife). I stood behind her, positioned her head, and pointed my finger to give her a sight-line that Helen Keller could follow. She still couldn’t see what I wanted to share with her.
How can she NOT see that?!
The text messages went something like this:
Me: “Stuck at the DMV. I may not make it out of here any time soon. You might need a backup plan for this morning.”
Alex: “Who waits to renew their license until the day before it expires? Other than me, of course.”
What could I say? I’m a moron. I often put myself in these impossible situations. I knew I wouldn’t get out of the DMV in time for our group (Alex and I lead a weekly Bible study with teens going through an addiction recovery program). Maybe it’s stupidity, but I sometimes find myself giving hope a chance to prove my inner-realist wrong. Possibly I just like to put myself in a position where I can once more smother life out of that starry-eyed youngster in my soul: “What the heck were you thinking, you freaking idiot?!” Continue reading