The following is the script for a dramatic monologue I performed at my church this morning. While I improvised portions of it during the performance, the content is basically the same.
Hi Dad. It’s been awhile. Beautiful day here at Willamette National. I’ve placed two flags, one for you and one for mom.
I miss you both so much.
I imagine you worshipping God in the courts of heaven. Joy on your faces. Strength in your legs. Power in your voices. I look forward to joining you in song one day. And someday I will.
But in the meantime I remember.
Do you remember that day when I first rode my bike on my own? I was just a little guy. But you were right there with me. You took the training wheels off my bike and encouraged me to hold on to the handle bars tightly and to place both feet on the pedals. I wobbled at first, but you kept your hands on me and the bike to keep me from falling. You ran beside me in full stride as I pedaled and gained confidence. Then I looked to my side and you were gone. Wow! Elation. I was riding my bike on my own. Because of you, Dad. I wonder: was it for you to let go?
And then by the time I was twelve years old, you had taught me everything I needed to know about fishing. Baiting the hook, casting the l line, setting the hook when the fish would bite, and reeling it in. One day I went on a fishing trip with a buddy of mine. It was that fishing hole just north of Newberg at the base of Parrot Mountain. we spent all day casting lines and telling stories. I came home that evening with a string of freshly caught fish from the local pond. Two bass and five blue gill. You were sitting on he lawn chair waiting for me. I don’t know who was more surprised: me or you. But there was also a measure of respect in your eyes. Do you realize how much your respect for me helped my fledgling 12 year old self-confidence?
Remember how I used to love throwing rocks? I was getting really good at it. Remember how I could hit a branch from 50 feet away? Or how I would throw one rock up and try to hit it with a second one, sometimes succeeding, but usually coming very close? I was pretty accurate. Most of the time. It’s your fault, you know. You’re the one who taught me how to skip rocks on the lake….
You warned me about throwing them in the driveway. Confident in my own ability I threw a big one anyway. Wow. Terrible throw. Horrible throw. Glancing blow off the truck’s windshield. Fear of God, Dad, and wondering if I had hope for any future as my hands held my head in horror.
Fortunately nothing was damaged, except for my ego. Yet, you chose not to yell at me. Instead, you put your arm around my shoulders and told me a story. You told me about the time you were my age and grandpa warned you not to bounce the basketball off the side of the house near the window. Like me, you did it anyway. The window broke. You ended up paying for it. Grandpa never yelled at you. But he did hold you responsible. Yes, I’ve taken that lesson to heart and I’m forever grateful for it.
So many memories; so many stories. I treasure all of them and I thank you. For being my dad and becoming my friend.
I miss you. Bye for now.
God, thank you that you are a Father to orphaned hearts.