Scenes from early fatherhood. You see those hands? They serenade, they teach, they play, they hold, they love. It never ends. And it is how we know our Heavenly Father loves us. I know that Max and Dagny are growing up secure in this knowledge because of Michael. I attribute the loss of my faith primarily due to my terrible free will, but my choice to turn away from God was not just due to the problem of suffering, but also because my father was largely absent from my life growing up. We are mere humans and children especially need concrete evidence of their father's love and approval. His presence. And faith flows from the father, even if the mother is holier. It's an observation I've made of many families over the years and it's no mistake that we sing Faith of our Fathers.
Last night Michael picked out a movie for us to watch: Good Intentions. Set in a rural Southern town, it's about dreams going up in smoke, crime, blackmail, and family values. It was funny and original and I loved the message about trusting your husband to take care of the family.
I am so grateful that Michael has a steady job he mostly enjoys, but I know some days it's a grind, and other days it's no fun to deal with difficult people, yet he gets up early every day to go to work so that we can have a comfortable life. I've known this man for over 30 years now and he's always been a hard worker and I have followed him from a room rented in a glass workshop to an enormous house to our home here in Charleston. He's often too tired to do projects at home but he is still present to us. I love his hands and I love these old pictures. I used to have them on my static website but I've gotten rid of it and thank goodness I remembered to copy them. A lot of digital stuff is unrecoverable (or we don't know how to yet).
One of my favorite booklets is Favorite Prayers to St. Joseph. It has a variety of devotions and prayers and I never realized what a powerful patron he was until it dawned on me that he was chosen to be the head of the Holy Family. And so when we ask St. Joseph to intercede for us in heaven, Jesus listens :) And this is one of my favorite prayers. I love the part about kissing. St. Joseph, pray for all fathers. And if you've ever wondered about his life as a humble and obscure carpenter in Nazareth, you will not be sorry to read the visions of Sister Maraia Cecilia Baij in Life of St. Joseph.