Ben Langhinrichs

July, 2012
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Civility in critiquing the ideas of others is no vice. Rudeness in defending your own ideas is no virtue.


Thu 5 Jul 2012, 11:22 AM
I likely won't talk about it much, but I thought it might explain some of my distraction recently. He had been ill for a long time, though it didn't truly get awful until the last six months. By now, I am relieved that he is in a better place, and that my mother has survived being his primary caretaker, a grueling and difficult job. My father wasn't always the dad I wished he was, and I certainly wasn't always the son he wished I was, but relationship isn't about perfection. It's about trying right up to the end.

This is a poem I wrote when I first learned my dad was ill, and was trying to process the inevitable fact of his mortality.

The oak

The oak
in my backyard
holds twisted rope and wood,
reminder of a childhood fort
long lost.

Our dad,
our staunchest friend
though often pirate foe,
built us a house for all our dreams -
sky high.

We climbed
hand over hand
up to the very top,
surveyed our vast domain with pride
‘till bed.

We grew
and spread our wings,
explored the seven seas,
came back but rarely, in a rush,
then fled.

Last week
we got the news,
returned from whence we’d gone,
held hands, looked up and thought of him
and wept.

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