Thursday, January 17, 2008

M&R for Dads

"In a sense," says Texan John King, "I'm grateful for [my father's] absence because it made me a better father."

King is president of a Christian mystery and author of "It's a Guy Thing," (one of a few books with that title). And he is calling for significant changes in the definition of fatherhood. As he told the El Pason Times,
"Every revolution happens with a generation of martyrs, and we need a generation of men who will stand up and say, 'I am going to live for something beyond myself; I am going to live for my children.' "

Martyrdom is certainly not new to fathers, though not everyone shares King's perspective. Nor is their "loss" something that ever lets go of children. At 74,
Moshe Bar-Yoda will finally find some peace regarding his lost father. The elder was killed by Nazi atrocities at Poland's Majdanek death camp six months after father and son were torn apart. Unsealed records revealed the truth and offer some peace. "Now I have a specific yahrtzeit [a commemorative day when a memorial candle is lit]" Bar-Yoda said to the Israeli paper Haaretz. "And while it doesn't comfort me or make me happy, there is a kind of satisfaction here, that I can move forward."

Killed in war (martyred in a different way) was the father that
Rosalie Miles Francisco never knew. Howard Carl Miles left for war when his daughter was three months old. She never knew him in any way except through a scrapbook. But Miles has not been honored not just by his daughter's creation and memory; for his service in Italy, he has finally received via his daughter the Purple Heart, the Air Medal with an oak leaf cluster, a World War II Victory Medal, the Europe-Africa-Middle East Campaign Medal, the U.S. Army Campaign Medal and a Good Conduct Medal.

Martyrdom and revolution (lite) are probably the paths of most days, living life in their own ways.

** It's biblical: Every father is honored at least by memory. **

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