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I was struck this morning by
their similarities as I watched
——them walk out to the truck
———to share a ride to work and college.

The dad in light shirt, dark pants
shuffling along carrying an
——overstuffed canvas briefcase,
———it’s strap dragging on the ground;
the son, dressed in dark shirt, light pants,
shuffling along in his dad’s wake,
——carrying a nearly identical briefcase,
———its strap, too, dangling along behind.

So much alike, two peas in a pod;
yet so difference…

The son doesn’t know, but
his dad is very afraid he has
——failed in his relationship with his boy,
———has blown it as both father and hero.

I wish the dad could have stepped
outside himself and watched them
——as I did this chilly October morning.
Maybe it would have given him hope
to see his son, so much like him,
——treading surely in his father’s footsteps.
Maybe he would have realized that
it’s not too late to mend those holes
——he fears he’s left in the fabric of
———his son’s life, in their relationship.

Though he’s older now,
that little boy is still right there behind him,
——at least for a little while longer,
———wanting to be as good a man as his dad.

It’s not too late.
It’s never too late
——to learn how to connect,
———to learn how to love one another.

Please, God, give the dad courage.