Monday, April 03, 2006


I spent yesterday morning with the 3 – 6 year old kids at my church. One thing I had forgotten, but which I rediscovered, is that there is a huge difference between the cognitive abilities of a 3-year-old vs. a 6-year-old. While the 6-year-old kids were processing, asking questions, and generally involved with the content of the class, the 3-year-olds were more likely to respond to the question “Who rode into Jerusalem on a donkey?” with “I’m poopy.”

But it was great fun. While I’m not in a hurry for grandchildren (really, Katryn and Rachel, you can wait at least until you’re well into your twenties. Please.), I love the energy and imagination that these kids have. They’re very sweet. When I asked two of them what they wanted to be when they grew up, they both responded, “a Star Wars guy.” How about that? Me too.

My father may or may not have had a heart attack Friday evening. The doctors will be running a series of tests this morning. But in any event, he is in the hospital, and I spent parts of Saturday and Sunday visiting him and doing some processing of my own. This is a fairly routine event. It happens two or three times per year. He doesn’t do what his doctors ask him to do, he lives the most unhealthy lifestyle imaginable, he checks himself out of the hospital against doctor’s orders, and then he ends up back in the hospital a few months later. What a surprise. One day, probably in the not-too-distant future, he really will keel over of a heart attack or stroke. In the meantime, it’s difficult for me to know how to respond. There is, as they say, a history there. In my case, it goes back fifty years. And although there’s some good in that history, there’s also a lot of crap. To say that I’m conflicted would be an understatement. I can be the biggest softie in the world with most people, but I find myself unable to muster up even an ounce of compassion for my own father. I’m not proud of that, but I often don’t know how to deal with the conflicted emotions I experience when things like this occur. For those of you who believe that compassion is a good thing, even for those who may not deserve it, I’d appreciate your prayers so that I could love the unlovable.

The rest of the past two days have been spent writing for Paste Magazine, importing still more music into the iPod, cleaning the house, doing laundry, hanging out with my wife and daughters at a wonderful farewell dinner Saturday evening, and then seeing my daughter off to school again (alas, spring break is over) at Kent State University.

I’m tired. Is it the weekend yet?

1 comment:

John McCollum said...

Hey, I'm so glad you talked to your dad when you did. Otherwise it might have had a "I'm just doing this because you're in bad health" sort of approach.

I'll be praying for him, and praying that you'll know how to 'be' during this time.