Friday, June 22, 2007

Father's Day

Yes, I realize that I'm a little late on this. I've been trying to think of a better way to express this but I kept coming back to the same thing. I posted the following on our family's web site a few years ago. I would like to share it with the readers of this blog.

I’ve just finished reading book that was recommended to me by my father. I read it once in High School but it didn’t have much meaning to me then. Like a Bilblical parable the book took on a deeper, more personal meaning this time. Since High School I have gone to Japan on a mission for two years, gotten married, had four children and said “goodbye” to the man who taught me to love books in the first place.

The book in question was previously read by my father. I don’t just mean that we read the same book, I mean it literally. This copy was owned by him and he loaned it to me. For those of you who knew Rog’ you know exactly what that means. That’s right. It has highlighted passages on nearly every single page. So in reading this book I was not only able to learn about the story described but I was able to learn about my father. What parts he liked. What passages he thought were important.

Near the end of the book a main character has died and the author is dealing with the loss of this character, his son. Rog had underlined the following passage;

….before it could be asked “Where did he go?” it must be asked “what is the ‘he’ that is gone?”

He then goes on to explain that what he missed about his son was not the molecules that made up his body but the pattern that made up his soul. It is natural, he says, to cling to things that resemble his pattern but in actuality are far from who he really was.

For a couple days after Rog’ died I too felt this need to cling to his pattern. I didn’t want to go home. I stayed by his body as much as possible. I was looking for him in places that I knew he wasn’t anymore. It made me sad.

A few days later I realized that Rog’ had left us vast volumes of his pattern to cling to. His journals. His photographs. His book collection complete with highlights and footnotes. But more important than all of this is the mark of his pattern that he left on everyone he ever met. This last year it has been a considerable source of comfort to see the evidences of Rog’s “pattern” on my life and those that I love.

Rog used to tell a story about ripples in a pond. He said, “When you throw a stone into a pond it will create ripples in the water. These ripples extend outward slowly from the splash. Scientists have proven that even though those ripples grow smaller that they never quite disappear and they will extend out to infinity.”

I see ripples that Rog has left on everyone of our lives. It is my prayer that we will all learn from the ripples and patterns left by Rog and create our own ripples as well.

with apologies to Robert Pirsig

Originally posted on

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