I posted this over at a friends blog. I thought I would add it here if anyone was interested.
"If the father steps out of the line for some reason (abandonment, abuse, neglect, or poor choices like not putting his children first) his spot in the line remains empty. Empty in the sense that it can only be filled by that one person. Some would say others can fill the role, but from my own experience the longing is for the person who is or should be in the front of the line."
I recently ended a, ahem, conversation with my own dad with the words being shoved in my face "what is it that I don't do for you?" And immediately all the answers came to mind...you chose 34 football players over me when I was seven every day and left me and the rest of your family sitting in a Sizzler, you buy me things instead of spending your time on me, you think that being around is the same as being there for me. I think the other super-emotionally-in-touch friend of ours said it really well last week when he said his parents don't fight at all, his mom runs at the first sign of conflict. Am I adapting the same fighting stance: am I more willing to overlook the issue, to say "well, I can't do anything about it now, so I might as well not try?" And how do I get past that part so that I can fight fair still, without letting it damage me so much that I am no longer a constantly damaged person, and also not a repressed, hardened heart? Is it that the question that everyone really faces? Not whether or not there is an eternal fountain of youth, but if they can make it to death in this way?