In church today, a man shared an experience that shook me. He spoke of a Sunday morning, many decades ago. His father as out and his mother was frantically trying to get her gaggle of kids ready to go to church. She had the feeling to go and "check the pool." She thought this strange, as her family didn't own a pool. She dismissed the thought and continued her preparations. The warning was repeated until she finally decided to peek over the fence at the neighbor's pool. The view was obstructed, so she continued what was doing. When it was finally time to leave, she gathered up her kids, noticing that one small boy was missing. She knew immediately where he was. He was in the pool, floating face down.
When I heard this tragedy, it instantly transported me to one Father's Day 11 years ago. My husband was not yet a father and both out our fathers were out of the country. We felt a little displaced. That afternoon, I felt the distinct impression to visit a man I barely knew. He had accompanied my youth group on a couple of activities. We lovingly referred to him as "Mountain Man" because he was never in a better mood than when he was in the outdoors. Truthfully, I never saw him smile indoors. I hadn't had any intersection with him for over a decade, so I dismissed the thought. Again, a while later, I felt like we should visit Mountain Man. He only lived a few blocks away. I thought, "If we go for a walk after dinner, maybe we will stop by and say hello." Then, remembering it was Father's Day, I decided to let him spend time with his kids, promising myself I'd stop by during the week.
The next day, I forgot all about Mountain Man until I got a phone call from a childhood friend. She told me the horrible news that Mountain Man had taken his own life the night before.
Ever since then, I have tried my darndest to not wait when I get inspired to do something. I have to wait a while to see Mountain Man again, but I hope I do see him on the other side. I want to hug him and tell him I am sorry. I want to never so desperately want to apologize to anyone else again.
jonny p and maggie k
5 days ago