A Conversation for To honor one's father
Dragonfly. "A poet can survive everything but a misprint"-- Oscar Wilde Started conversation Dec 11, 2004
I was drawn to this entry because I read something from Sylvia Browne a few years ago. It's changed my outlook: "Honor thy mother and father.... only if they are honorable."
You've done a lot of good with the English language here: "a loyal soldier in the war against his own children." is a gripping phrase. I appreciate that creativity!
I like the questions you pose: "The bible says that one should honor their parents, but does this imply that we have to imply all of our ancestors? Or simply our genetic progenitors? Does honor our parents mean to show honor to those who raised us?" These questions could go on forever. When you raise them, it does not feel like preaching. I feel you've framed your entry well. By that I mean you have set it up nicely for us, your readers.
I would like some dialog around the funeral though. Or more description. What was the funeral like? Was this a traditional Christian service, in a church? Was this an open casket? What did you see? Hear? Smell? And how can you use description to give us a sense of your own feelings? You have the potential to make this very powerful. Don't be afraid to push yourself to the edge (unless of course it's far too painful!!! ). Readers appreciate daring. Or at least I do. And I know I'm not the only one!!!
"My answer to these questions was simple. To honor my father, I grew to despise his parents. For my entire childhood, I remember wondering how it was that these people could have hurt my father so much. How could they be so cruel? These people did not act as parents to my father, but was it his duty to honor them? If so, was it my duty to help him honor his parents? These questions continue to haunt me."
Wow. There's a ing twist! And very confessional of you. Good on ya.
Again, I could use some more anecdote-- I don't necessarily recommend you changing it in THIS entry though. This works. But you can build on it, just the same. Perhaps there's another entry you can begin to expand on this, to illustrate further to interested parties....? Or not!
"And so, at the funeral, I stood stock-still. I wanted to cry. I wanted to feel bad for the loss of this man. My father’s father was dead. I hadn’t seen the man in five years. He had skipped my Bar Mitzvah due to his wife’s anger at my mother."
Was there other things he had missed in those five years? What events did you miss in his life?
"(My grandmother had requested a chair to be returned to her. This chair had been her wedding gift to my parents, but now, she wanted it back. My mother had refused.)"
OOO!!! Here's a place to allow the people in your entry dialog. How did your grandmother request the chair? How might your mother have remembered getting the wedding gift? How did your mother refuse to give it back?.... If you explore all of this, it could also be a separate entry....
"But I couldn’t feel anything. Quite the opposite, I was jovial."
I love the word "jovial".
"This death had brought me in contact with my uncle Seth, who I hadn’t seen since I was thirteen. I met my new cousin, who described her self as being “four and a quarter”. This death had brought me more joy than pain."
What do you-- oh!!! I gotcha now. "Four and a quarter" years old!
And you imply that the death brought more joy than pain because of the family reunions.... but can you say that straight and simple in that last sentence? I had to re-read that to get what you really meant, or what it seems you really mean...
"And so, I am left wondering. Am I a bad son for not feeling pain? Did I act rightly?"
Does this return you to thinking of Moses and the Ten Commandments? Is there something for you to explore in that?
"I don’t answer these questions because quite frankly, I’m not sure that answers exist."
"However, I must continue to search for the answers. If not, I know I am in fact failing in my duties as a son."
Are you also failing in your duties as a Jew!??
I'd like to see a little more of your spiritual culture throughout this entry. What was the wedding gift/chair like? I know you weren't at the wedding (most likely), but do you know if there is anything you can take from that time to put in this entry to give us more of a sense of your spiritual background?
Give us some setting and maybe some dialog. That's my humble request!!!
I've enjoyed reading this. I'm glad you contributed. for sharing something so personal and so introspective. Good luck, and thank you.
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