Friday, November 02, 2012

Happy All Souls. Or Solemn. Whatever it's supposed to be. I miss my Dad. I thought of him last night. The priest had told me to offer prayers for loved ones who need it. I just mentally prayed for him without a thought.

On the one hand, I have no sure confidence that he arrived in the place of mercy that is Purgatory. At the same time, God's mercy is infinite, more than any of us know. So I prayed. And again, just now. If God's chosen ones still need sanctity, He doesn't hold out on them, even after death. I get that not everyone believes in Purgatory, but as an Actual Catholic, in fact, I do.

Anyway, Dad. Every day, I realize how much I want to be him, in all the ways that are good. I definitely feel like my relationship with God is Dad's. If I can honor God even in the ballpark of what He deserves, then somehow, it will be said that the Kettinger name is a good one, and by the One who matters.

My name--that is, my reputation--matters to me a lot. Though I suppose that living for Christ will mean that it will mean squat in the world of men. Still, that is the gravest wound to me that one could inflict. That I am not good. Maybe I'm proud. If people say I am a bad man, and I know it's false, oh, well. But if perchance I am a good man, and they say so, why should I disdain it? One of the things that has inspired me are all the good stories people told about my father. Even if those are just stories of natural goodness, it is a charge to keep.

I'm going to see my brother this afternoon. He'll tell you who he is most like, and who he wants to be. That is, if he doesn't say me, and that humbles me. I only know that the small piece of ourselves that was ripped away the day he died, we have found in each other. That's why we love baseball. Because he did. That's why my brother loves his son, and why I want one. Because Richard Roy Kettinger loved his. Not that I couldn't love a daughter. Not at all. But you men know what I mean.

If you don't have qualms about praying for the dead, pray for him, will you? If you do, thank the Lord for such a good man. Especially if you see that in me.

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