Nancy, in honor of my Father

 As I think of Father’s Day, my mind is filled with a mixture of happy and sad memories for a man who seemed unable to appreciate his own uniqueness.

 Daddy was the youngest child of a highly respected minister, known by many throughout the state of North Carolina.

 Preacher’s kids often suffer from lack of attention from the minister and spouse simply because the church can require so much attention.  I found this out when I did a year’s internship as a solo minister working on my M.Div. degree. 

I think one of the most important things a preacher’s kid often misses is the feeling of importance as a unique individual.  Even laypersons seem to recognize and excuse any deviate behavior with “he/she is the preacher’s kid.

The recognition that every soul who chooses to incarnate into a physical body does so for specific reasons, and NEVER to simply be one of the crowd, is an extremely important teaching for a well- adjusted child.  We need to know and appreciate who we are as a unique human being!

Although Daddy was an extremely talented athlete (playing on the UNC-Chapel Hill tennis team) and, as an adult, a highly respected engineer, he seemed unable to appreciate his unique skills.  He wanted to be like his father.

A part of this inability to appreciate his own uniqueness was likely engendered by being a young adult during WWII when serving one’s country by fighting on the front lines was considered a sign of high patriotic honor.  But not all men served their country by fighting; some possessed unique skills that were used to supply what was needed in order to fight a war.  Daddy’s excellent skills in engineering were instead used to draw plans for installing sprinkle systems into the war ships.  So once more, he was cast into the shadows of what the world-at-large was experiencing.

That the sprinkle system his work helped to install on the war ships very likely saved lives seemed not to be a source of patriotic pride for him.

Even though his drafting work could be recognized simply by its excellence, and not by his name, he never seemed to recognize his value.  He even turned down an offer of part ownership of an engineering company.

He wanted to be like his father, mistaking the fact that he did not have to earn the high level of respect his father did—as a minister—by becoming something his soul never intended.  Instead, he had earned that level of respect by using his own talents.  One engineer who installed sprinkles by using Daddy’s drafts, told me he did not have to look for who did the draft … he could simply see the draft and recognize Daddy’s superior work.

Shortly after being offered part ownership of an engineering company, Daddy quit work and entered a seminary to become like his father.

That’s when his difficulties truly began.  We cannot be who we are not!

Soon our family had to sell our home and return to the location where Daddy and Mother had grown up.  Daddy attempted to be a minister; but he was not talented in that area.  His life went downhill from then on, until he died at age 63 (as I remember) alone and estranged from his family. 

I tell this tragic story on Father’s Day in order to honor my Father, whose life’s expression will hopefully encourage many to follow their own unique Soul’s Mission for incarnating on Earth!

We each have so much to offer our world by being who we are rather than attempting to be who we are not!





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