Father’s Day Writing
There’s a strange story that I like to tell on Father’s Day.
When I was in 7th grade, I was duck hunting early in the morning with my dad and I shot my first duck. Our dog retrieved the bird and brought it back to the blind. I had wounded the bird but it was still alive, gasping for breath. I was uncertain what to do but certain I didn’t want to touch that duck. My dad stood up and quickly stepped on the bird’s neck, killing it and putting it out of it’s misery. It was a messy thing that fell on him to do to fix the situation.
Fast forward to a couple years ago. I now have my own wife and children.
We returned home one night to find blood and feathers all over our back porch. Our cat had mortally wounded a bird and was still toying with it. My wife was horrified and uncertain what to do but certain she wanted to head inside with the kids. I agreed and, of course, obliged to take care of the porch. I kicked my cat away (Hard. You would have too). I quickly stepped on the bird’s neck, killing it, putting it out of it’s misery. I said a prayer and threw it into the river by our home. I swept and cleaned the porch.
It felt like a rite of passage, honestly. It was this messy thing that fell on me to do to fix the situation. I was glad to do it so my wife and kids didn’t have to.
And it made me feel like my dad.
I felt strong. I felt responsible. And I felt like I had entered a greater sense of fatherhood.
Putting it out of misery is indeed a difficult task. I had to put a favored horse down many years ago, it still hangs on in my memory.
Kicking a cat which is only doing what is natural, negates the good deed.
I have a very similar memory with my dad in a duck blind. I too was amazed with his bravery and ability to “take care of it”
One mess of an old messy father is wiping the tears off his cheek right now. Thanks brother.
Part of growing up is doing the things that need to be done. We are so proud to have you as part of our family. Not just for your strength, but even more for your gentleness. We love you.