Read this as an addendum to my previous post:

There are fathers and then there are fathers … This weekend while I was composing my Father’s Day lament for the lack thereof, an old fighter pilot friend was celebrating the weekend with his wife and mother of their grown children whose longtime dementia-ridden mind does not know him or where she is but he still cares for her at home … and an aging mentally disabled son out on a weekend pass from his institution. Richard is in a class of Dad’s all his own. This same old dedicated vet years ago took a hit in the front cockpit of his RF-4 Phantom over North Vietnam that left him unconscious. The book says the plane cannot be safely landed by the backseater of a Phantom but there were no other options. He revived on short final to take over the plane and landed it, went through months of rehab and flew again. His Father’s Day greeting to me was waiting on my phone when I awoke this morning.

“Happy Father’s Day, Richard,” seems woefully inadequate. And so does my undying admiration. Richard and I have had some long discussions over the internet and telephone text, and he knows we cannot earn our way to heaven, that we are saved by God’s grace, not works. It is impossible for one human heart to truly know another–we can’t even know our own–but Matthew 7:20 says ” you will recognize them by their fruits.” Richard will one day fly yet again, with the angels…forever.

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