by LJ Frank
My father was born in 1918 a couple years before the Roaring Twenties
and at the end of WWI
his life was a struggle for in the early the early 1930’s
during the autumn of the year he stood in a bread line with his father
In downtown Detroit off Woodward Avenue
between deep breaths and the feeling of humility,
his father said to the son, “Humor and love are essential.”
Before WWII began he and my mother married finding each other
in Hudson’s Department Store and married three weeks later.
The 1940’s was filled with raising a family and being employed
by automotive corporations, from Ford to Chrysler.
A few decades later, I remember my father coming home,
turning on some music and opening a beer,
as my mother and he celebrated their life together
having moved into a brand new house.
Sometime during the late 1960’s
I remember discussing the events of the day
we talked for hours about human pursuits
and I shared my conversations with him
I had with a theologian
about the existential nature of existence
before I became a ‘missionary’ abroad.
My mother was there for him though not all things were rosy.
My dad and I had our disagreements, politically speaking
as we got older but agreed many other things from dogs to music
and he was there to pick me up when stranded.
After working and traveling to different places on Earth
I finally returned home listening to folklore, enhancing my knowledge
my father asked me what I thought
we shared translations of our journeys
with knowledge comes the realization how little we know
as fathers and sons do about the meaning of life…
and then my father became my best man at my wedding.
Different directions were pursued
I remember my father most in the things he cared about
laughing at the nonsense humans engage in
while retaining our sense of the tumultuous seas and
calm waters of a father and son relationship.
In the end we agreed in the spirit of Martin Luther’s thoughts,
that is, everyone must do two things alone,
our own believing and our own dying;
so we traveled our respective paths
understanding the blessings of ‘family’
and friendships made along the way
and that music was essential to the calmness of the heart,