By Antique Daddy
Earlier in the year, I found myself standing before a bookcase where I noticed the two-volume series The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah. These books had belonged to my father, a preacher, and then later my oldest brother, also a preacher.
My father was thrown from a horse and killed when I was eleven. Six years later when I was 17, my oldest brother was killed in a motorcycle accident. He was only 27 and left behind his pregnant wife and unborn child. The loss of these two men who never saw their children grown, profoundly changed not just my life, but the life of my son who would never benefit from having known them.
I pulled the book from the shelf and looked through it for a moment. I noticed my father’s rather distinctive signature in the front cover. I called Sean over to come take a look at the book. I explained to him that this book had belonged to his grandfather and then I showed him the signature.
Then something interesting happened. Rather than barely taking notice and then running off to play as you might expect of a five-year-old, he took the book and held it reverently in his hands. He lightly brushed his fingers over the signature.
For a long moment he stood holding the book, gazing at the signature. Then he looked off at the wall as he continued to gently rub the book. His eyes noticeably began to fill with tears. Finally he handed the book back and asked if I had any other books that had belonged to his grandfather.
My throat tightened with emotion as I wondered what he was thinking. I wanted to ask, but decided instead to let him own that moment as his own. My wife and I exchanged glances. We both understood that something remarkable had happened, something that we could sense but could not see.
Later that night, as my wife tucked him into bed, she asked him what he had been thinking. He told her that he was looking into a clock and wondering what it would be like to know his grandfather.
Fatherhood has brought me many unexpected poignant moments; sometimes as a witness and other times, like this one, as a participant. And that is perhaps one of the greatest blessings of fatherhood, to share in those poignant moments with my child.
Every day I thank God for this incredible gift that is my son, this answered prayer, this miracle he performed in our lives, the miracle that we had given up on, that we had all but conceded. I thank Him for those special moments, for the joy and the depth of meaning that fatherhood has brought me.
And I pray that He will bless my efforts to be a good father and that he will see fit to bless me, that I might live to see him into manhood.