By LEE SCOTT
A few years ago, I wrote about taking my four grandchildren to Arlington Cemetery on Father’s Day. It was fascinating to hear their questions and be able to answer them.
Why are there crosses on some of the headstones and stars on others?
Why were some people so young when they died and some so old?
It was humbling for all of us as they realized that many of the buried never had a chance to be a father – Thomas dead at 19; Robert dead at 18. I told them that none of us would have been there if my father’s gravestone had said – 1927-1945.
This year, I will not see them on Father’s Day, but I will be with them on the 4th of July. For me this is another opportunity for a question and answer period.
“What is this all about, Nina?”
Each adult must give their own interpretation of this date, but for me it remains: Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We all deserve those unalienable rights endowed by our creator.
But back to Father’s Day. As I write this, I am reminded of so many happy memories I had with my father. He was typical of his generation.
He came back from the War and went on the G.I. Bill. He and my mother both worked while he was going to school and they were having babies.
The 50’s were in the suburbs and we were in front of the television for important events of the 1960s. He loved jokes, music, and golf. Oh, how he loved golf. Those clubs went with him on every business trip and every family vacation.
But Dad had a long life. A life that he enjoyed in a free country where he could pursue his own happiness. And underlying all of this was his faith. His faith in God and his fellow man.
One of his favorite poems was “Abou Ben Adhem” by James Henry Leigh Hunt. The poem is about a man that was not listed in the book of gold, because he was not one who loved the Lord.
But Abou Ben Adhem said, “Write me as one that loves his fellow man.” And the angel came back the next night and showed him a new page and there it was written “Ben Adhem,” and “his name led all the rest.”
Dad never won a Nobel or Pulitzer Prize. There are no statues of Dad anywhere, but he is buried with other people who believed in this country and its citizens.
I like to think that Dad’s name is there with Ben Adhem.
Happy Father’s Day to all of you fathers.
Lee Scott, a writer and recent retiree, shares her everyday observations about life after career. A former commercial banker responsible for helping her clients to reach their business objectives, Scott now translates those analytical skills to her writings. She lives on St. Helena Island and enjoys boating, traveling and reading.