Apostrophe to Dad

Written by: Robert Ludden

I think of how it was ten years ago
just after you departed.
All your close friends spoke
of your "complexity"
and we knew what it meant.

I look far back to childhood when
those small-town midwest Methodists
would call you "Revrund."  Well they knew
of turned-on tears
so common in the meeting hall;
but did they know about
the "turned-on" ladies
when you came to call?

I know.  You needed time with them.
Two small churches took so much
with little left for us;  I still recall
the single three hour evening
when you took me out of town alone
--to still another church!

There came a time for change;
as a chaplain in the army,
far away from mother, there
you quickly found the antidote
for loneliness...and yet again,
and again, again...

And then so late in life,
about to lose your second wife
through age and frailty,
you saw another, caught her
waiting in the wings, you thought.

All through those years you toiled
(if not quite single-mindedly)
in dedicated sacrifice for God
(if not for family).

How you were loved! 
Clay footed, to be sure,
yet everything you did
was passion-filled;
you wept and prayed
and laughed and played,
presiding to the end.

Complex, you were, indeed, my father,
the record clear and true
and I for one, will judge you not.
for I am much like you!
               ~