Lining Up With Papa

Blog 913 – 02.23.2018

Lining Up With Papa

I have been taught all of my life that lining up with Papa makes us right. A greater truth is that Papa is always lined up with us. Love always blurs the lines. On Sunday afternoon on my drive back from seeing The Black Panther for the second time I had PBR (Public Broadcast Radio) on in the truck and I heard a psychiatrist talking about the last years of his father’s life who died at eighty-two with Alzheimer’s. He said his daddy’s story changed in the last couple of years of his life and that dad began telling others that his story was his son’s story. Dad had immigrated from the old country through Ellis Island but began to tell people that he had come to this country through San Francisco and of his life in San Diego where his son had a practice but where he had never lived. The son never tried to correct his dad but just let him tell his story his own way.

After his dad died the son was going through his dad’s things and found many bottles of nitroglycerin pills that his dad had kept everywhere, handy in case he needed a pill for his heart. He also wore blue flannel shirts all the time and had left behind many of those as well. The psychiatrist son also wore blue flannel shirts but found himself wearing his dad’s and always keeping a bottle of nitroglycerin with him wherever he went. It was one of his dad’s and he thought he had kept it to remember his dad by but found himself panicking anytime he misplaced it and having to stop whatever else he was doing till he could find it. There was nothing wrong with his heart but like his dad he wanted to always have that bottle close by. This went on for over six months and only stopped after the son visited some of the older folks in the nursing home where his dad had spent the last months of his life and told them all his dad’s true story. He said it was as if he was saying good-bye to them for his dad. The doctor’s point in the story is that we are not so individual as we think we are and that sometimes hearing someone say, “You remind me of…or…You are just like someone else” rather than being upsetting can be to us quite the compliment it is usually meant to be.

I told you already that my dad passed almost twenty-three years ago. I remember writing shortly after he passed, “I see dad everywhere but mostly in the mirror.” I am my father’s son as he was his and we are all joined and the line between our identities sometimes blurs a bit and we remember Who we really are, that we are One, and that this One life is meant to fun.

Lining Up With Papa

Best you line up with Papa

We have been told this to do

But far greater is the lesson

Papa is in us, and we in Him,

We’ve always been One not two.

Your friend and fellow traveler,

David White

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