A Fathers Lament

Pontificus Minimus Opines:

A lament is an expression of grief or sorrow. Now, there are LAMENTS and then there are laments: this is a lament. What is the difference? What say ye Pontificus?

Poor William with his beautiful children, Galilee, Linden, Will and Bethany in Couer d'Alene, Idaho for Galilee's graduation from high school. Photo by The Delta Bohemian

Poor William with his beautiful children, Galilee, Linden, Will and Bethany in Couer d’Alene, Idaho for Galilee’s graduation from high school. Photo by The Delta Bohemian

In my way of thinking, a LAMENT would deal with the trauma and angst of losing a child or watching one go through a horrendous illness; a lament is livable and doable, it likely involves sorrow over things left undone and words left unspoken.

Pontificus does not live with his four children; he sees them during the summer and sometimes during Christmas. They live in Northern Idaho and he lives in the Mississippi Delta. His brood has a great mom and a great step dad, so his lament is lower case. He thanks the Lord daily for their safety, their security, and the fact that they are being raised in a loving home with all the amenities necessary for a comfortable lifestyle.

His babies: 18, 16, 12, and 9 are well adjusted, healthy, happy, and they love both sets of parents. This is not always the case in a divorce, and was not always the case in this one, but it is the case now, and Pontificus is grateful.

My lament has to do with my inadequacy to meet all my kid’s needs–both spoken and unspoken. My short time with them this summer was like a brief dream during an afternoon nap.

I regret that I didn’t get them the snow cones I promised, all of them didn’t get to catch a fish as I had hoped, I didn’t play chess with them for the third summer in a row, they were not able to spend valuable time with Mr. Lil John–always a highlight for them–and I didn’t really find out as much about their lives as I should have.

I can do so much better. So, why don’t I? Life, the telephone, work, daily encumbrances, and a myriad of other things vie for their attention. And too often, I don’t know what to say or ask, so I don’t. What a shame.

My prayer every year before spending time with them is, “Lord, help me to connect and help me to meet their needs as I should, and help me to do the things that will provide consistency between the two households.”

Usually, I am left with: “Lord, help me to do better next year, and please protect my babies: mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually, and give them favor with their parents, friends, God, their teachers, their classmates, and all whom they come in contact with.”

I also pray, “Lord, please grant them healthy, happy, joy-filled, spirit-filled, fruit-producing lives, and please help them to marry good Christian spouses, who love the Lord and who will love them unconditionally, and give them great kids and great grandkids and help me to be able to know my children’s children’s children. Amen!


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  1. Bethany says:

    Always missing you!
    Thanks for a wonderful summer!

    -The kids

  2. PW–Your children are indeed well adjusted and a charm to be around. I wish everyone could have caught a fish. I’ve been where you are brother. We feel some type of guilt 24/7 over our kids coping with The Big “D”. You are a fine Daddy who is doing what he can. My boy is grown (23) and I still feel as if I did not do enough, even though I am still doing (finacially) for him. I suppose in some way WE Always Will.

    Enjoyed having you and the kids over to frolick with my lab (Dollie) and catch a few bass for the table.

  3. I know you enjoy and cherish the times you do get to spend with them.. Love all your post and love the Delta Bohemia..hugs to you and Magical..

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