An Uncommen Blog

The Frivolity of Time is Stealing Your Manhood

“The future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of 60 minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is.” – C.S. Lewis

I think I was about ten years old when I first saw Terminator. I lived out in the country and didn’t have access to whatever movie or show was popular at the time. So, my grandmother would bring home a stack of VHS rentals to keep me entertained. Most of the time she had no idea what the videos were about but figured guns and robots were ideal for a young boy. I had no clue what I was watching. This amazing and terrifying story of an apocalyptic future ruled by time-traveling robots unfolded into new areas of my brain. After that, I was hooked on the concept of time travel. As an adult I still love the idea, overused as it may be; it opens the door to nearly unlimited and shifting storylines. Lately, however, what has truly caught my attention about the concept is just how different it is from the reality in which we live.

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Write A Tribute For Dad

When I first heard about this idea of writing a tribute to my dad, I knew I didn’t have a choice. I had to do it, even though I knew it would be a stretch goal. I felt so nervous about it that I procrastinated way too long.

I first heard about the idea from Dennis Rainey from Family Life at a meeting of the Fatherhood Commission in the first week of December 2015. As leaders of the “Fatherhood” movement, his comments inspired us to take the simple action of writing down what dad has meant to us over the years. We were especially encouraged to present him this tribute in person if said father was still alive. As Dennis was showing this idea, I could see how it would benefit me. Through taking some time to think intentionally about and write down my dad’s contributions to my life, I would experience a surge of gratitude for the positive things. But, since my dad happened to be still alive, and we had a relationship, it would also give me the chance to encourage him by appreciating specific things that I was grateful about receiving from him.

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Why Interview Dad?

Ever since I was a kid, I liked to pretend that I was interviewing people. Seriously, I remember walking around with a camera and just asking people random questions. Maybe you never imagined interviewing celebrities like me. I would like to tell you about my experiences with interviewing my dad over the past few months before he died.

It’s said that every time an older person dies, it’s like a library burning down. By telling you about my experience, I am hoping that you are inspired to consider doing what I did, and collect some of that vast wealth of experience before it disappears.

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Show Him Some Love: Send Postcards

 

Sometimes the hardest conversation to start is with the person who means the most to me. When I am in the grocery line, I can carry on mindless small talk conversations with total strangers. But when it feels like the stakes are high, I can invest lots of emotional energy in thinking about building the relationship, but my additional efforts seem to lead to a microscopic result.

In our relationship, my dad was not exactly a phone call talker. He spent lots of time on the phone for his job. So, I guess I can understand why having long heart-to-heart conversations over the phone were difficult for him. I think our average phone call lasted a mere 60 seconds.

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Give Him A Little Grace

 

We buried my dad last weekend, after a brutal 16-month battle with a rare lung disease. The grinding pace of the fight was excruciating and filled with ups and downs. With each new treatment option, we held our breath and hoped for the best. He even went as far as to pursue a lung transplant.

In the end, my dad was lying there, hooked to a breathing tube and pumped full of morphine, surrounded by the immediate family.  He died of suffocation—as his knotted lungs were unable to push enough oxygen into his system to keep him alive.

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Calendar Your Companionship

How long has it been since we…”

Has your wife ever started with those words and you knew what was coming next? Just once you you hoped she continued with:

“…invited the guys over for beverages around a bonfire?

“…revisited the idea of converting the basement into a man-cave?

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