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Like Father….

Guideposts editor-in-chief Edward Grinnan reflects on memories of his father.

Last week’s homepage poll asked in what way we are like our fathers (or not). My answer was easy: I’m more like my mom. Totally. I look just like her (eyes and hair particularly) and have many of her same mannerisms (Julee says I laugh just like her).

My father and I were practically polar opposites. He was quiet, conservative, cautious, skeptical (except when it came to his faith). Like my mother, I’m restless and energetic. I can be impulsive (surprised?). I don’t think my dad ever had an impulsive moment in his life (compulsive at times, maybe).

But just this morning I noticed something. While chatting with a neighbor I jingled the change in my pocket. Just like Dad. I locked my apartment door, took two paces then turned and double-checked the latch. That was really like my dad, who double-checked everything (compulsive, remember?). I made sure to get to the gym early so I could sign up for the bike I always ride in cycling class. That was Dad, always early, especially to church at St. Owen’s, so he could sit in his same spot on the end of the same pew every Sunday.

A plane passed low over the East River. I studied it, trying to see what airline it was, hoping it might be some obscure foreign carrier. Dad, who had an intense fear of flying nevertheless loved airplanes, knew everything about them and enjoyed spending a couple of hours at Detroit Metro airport just watching them land and take off.

Mom would barely notice a plane passing overhead. She’d be too busy talking and walking, doing both as fast as she could, probably a little annoyed the jet was drowning her out.

It’s no doubt true that in some superficial fashion we take after one parent or the other. But it is impossible to refute that we are a miraculous fusion of them both. I think that’s how God wants it, the reason why it takes two humans to create another. 

Edward Grinnan is Editor-in-Chief and Vice President of GUIDEPOSTS Publications.

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