Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Goodnight Dad

Death remains a reality that we would love to deny, however, like actual real facts, it is a stubborn reality. In this age of postmodern woke relativism, "facts" are very hard to agree on, however death remains a stark fact in defiance of relativism. It is a worthy reality to reflect on rather than avoid.

My dad and I could argue for hours on virtually any topic, and exceeding rare in our time, we truly enjoyed it, He detested Reagan, big business, the military/industrial complex, all the oil companies "in cahoots", and "the rich". Everyone should be limited to a maximum of $50K in wages, anything else was gouging. The idea of an expanding economic pie was always "malarky" for him -- there was only so much, and when you took more, someone else got less.

So, being I thought Reagan was great, the USSR deserved the ash heap of history, I worked for IBM (in the old days, the poster child for big business), I found most military (and other) technology to be cool, I thought oil prices were controlled by supply and demand ... and a host of other differences, we always had great plenty to discuss / argue about -- and then we had ice cream.

This miracle was possible because both of us were trained to discuss without "losing it" by true masters  -- he by his dad, me by him. Men could discuss any issue, it was the foundation of America for sure, and probably just being a man. Being able to state and defend positions was a key virtue.

It was also possible because both of our priority systems at least desired to put God first, then followed by family, friends, and then in some order, things like work, baseball, fishing, FLOWERS (for dad), books (for both of us). At times, on some issues, politics might make it to "5 or 6", but that was was the max -- with God, family and friends being locked at top, and the virtue of NEVER "losing it" being so critical that the shame of such was unconscionable. It worked.

Aside from his perpetually sunny outlook that I will always covet, our age symmetry was a special blessing -- we were 30 years apart, so the 30/60 and 60/90 birthdays allowed us to see things in a perspective that was somewhat unique. I wrote on this after the 60/90. http://www.moosetracksblog.com/2016/12/30-60-90.html

So the last month or so, I've taken a vacation from Facebook. While dad and I loved to discuss, we never "solved" anything. When the USSR fell, Reagan had nothing to do with it, it was all the greatness of Gorbachev (NPR agreed with him on that).

The discussions WERE "good" -- they certainly helped me know him better, and I assume vice versa. They sharpened our minds. As I retreated from FB, I time travelled back to the Civil War through first "Fierce Patriot" and now Chernow's "Grant", one of the last books dad read.

As BLM shows us, Jim Crow, the 60's riots and much else makes obvious, there isn't much of anything "solved" in this vale of tears. What does sadden me is that not only are we definitely not "progressing", we are clearly regressing. Longstreet was Grant's best man, and after the war, they were friends. Grant's (and Lincoln's) wives were slave holders. Grant and Lee amicably shook hands at Appomattox and had respect for each other as men and warriors.

Today many find the wearing or not wearing of a mask being of more importance than God, family, friends, etc. That doesn't strike me as "progress", however I'm certain that nothing that I say will change any hearts and minds. Only Christ can do that.

In but a little while I will be able to discuss with dad for eternity. I believe there will be discussion in Heaven. Moses and Hezekiah changed God's mind, Jacob wrestled with God and at least sort of prevailed. I personally look forward to shore lunch with Jesus -- and dad.

Facebook is high on my list of temporal trivia. In the face of eternity (or even 100 years) it is as significant as one hand clapping. I'm sure I'll be drawn back in -- I enjoy the "good stuff". The kids and grandkids, the pretty views, support for those going through challenges, important info from my Pastor and other Christian leaders -- I certainly don't want to be a social media scold, especially since it would be just more evidence of my being a hypocrite. All things in moderation.

As a Christian, I suppose I "should" not feel as sad as I do ("should" is a word I seek to banish) -- I have faith, though certainly short of a mustard seed, and no doubt "little" even compared to disciples on stormy seas. A great light in the my existence has been extinguished -- for "a little while".

Goodnight Dad, and sleep tight. When Christ returns for all to see, we will enjoy that eternal morning together.

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