Today I’m honored to have Thomas Mason share his heart with you all. Thomas is a new friend of mine and writes his own blog Living the Story over at thomasemason.net…I encourage you to follow his journey with Christ over there…you’ll definitely be blessed! - JC
Tribute to My Father
My father passed away in January of 2007 at the age of 89. We weren’t particularly close. In fact, I always thought of myself more of a nuisance to him than anything else.
Not a priority.
The last time we saw or communicated with each other was in January of 1999.
When I saw him for the first time during eight years of absence at his home sitting in his favorite chair in a peaceful repose just moments after his passing, I wanted to somehow make up for being an awful son to him.
The funeral arrangements my mother and I made were dignified and regal, befitting an Army Serviceman who served during World War II, and a hospitality career that spanned more than seven decades, despite years and years of dysfunctional relating to one another as a family unit.
I wanted to say a few words at his funeral. It ended up being a tribute to my father.
Following are the words I spoke:
My relationship with you was not always the closest. There were times when I didn’t always want to be around you. There was even a moment when I ran from you. And when I thought you would keep me from home fell apart, I found myself back at home. Although we didn’t embrace, your arms nonetheless were wide open, welcoming me back.
All of my life, but especially in recent years, these questions arose in my mind: “Am I adequate?” and “Do I have what it takes?” And today, I still ask myself those questions.
This week I searched through my mother’s old photograph books desperately wanting to recapture some good memories of you. I found a handful of pictures when I was a baby and later as a young boy where we were standing side by side. I even found one with you and mom and it appears we were a happy family. But I seemed to have forgotten about those times, and I don’t know why.
Too, this week, my mind has been flooded with memories I long since suppressed: the memories of family trips and outings, the memories of being with you, just you and me, when I was with you at your workplace, the hotel. I was there so much I think I knew that hotel like the back of my hand. And because of your position there, I felt a little like royalty.
Another question came to my mind this week: “Why did those seemingly good times get overshadowed by the not so good times?” I don’t understand it, and maybe on this side of heaven I’ll never understand.
But as I’ve thought this week about you, about my childhood, about where I am now in my life, I would hope that between you and my mother and the manner you raised me, that I turned out okay. I’m certainly far from perfect, but God isn’t finished with me yet. There is still a lot of work to do.
I don’t ever remember calling you dad or daddy, but maybe I did. But even if I didn’t I look back at you with honor. I salute your life. From this moment on, I’ll not be burdened by regrets and what might have been. I’ll move forward carrying high the family name with dignity and respect because I’m beginning to realize now that I am adequate. I know I have what it takes.
Dad, thanks for giving me life.
Questions: Do you have any long-standing regrets? If so, how do you think you can rectify those regrets and move on with your life?
My name is Thomas Mason. I have a wife, Jessica, who I’ve been married to for 13 years. We have an 8 year-old daughter, Audrey. I blog regularly at Living the Story, http://thomasemason.net and you can find me on Twitter @thomasmason_