by James V. Allridge III
Hey Father, what´s up? How ya doing?
YOU KNOW ME. THE SAME AS ALWAYS. JUST PERFECT.
Well, I was just getting ready to turn in so thought I would give you a call before I went to bed. It´s been a long day but you know I always try to spend some time with you before I go to sleep. That´s all.
YOU SURE? IT SOUNDS LIKE SOMETHING IS REALLY BOTHERING YOU.
Naw, I´m okay ... I guess.
NOW WHO ARE YOU TRYIN´ TO KID? I´M YOUR FATHER AND YOU KNOW I KNOW YOU BETTER THAN YOU KNOW YOURSELF. I CAN ALWAYS TELL WHEN SOMETHING IS BOTHERING YOU. NOW, TELL YOUR BEST FRIEND WHAT´S ON YOUR MIND.
Funny you should say that.
OKAY. OUT WITH IT. I KNOW WHEN SOMETHING IS BOTHERING YOU. WHAT´S ON YOUR MIND? TELL ME WHAT´S TROUBLING YOU.
All right. All right. I´ll tell you. It´s silly really, but I was talking with Missy today and we got into a conversation about you. Seems like we only argue when we talk about politics and you. It almost turned into an argument because I was telling her that you´re my best friend and that you love me more because you´re always there for me when I need you.
Whenever I call you, day or night, you´re always there with a listening ear. I can tell you anything. You gave me life. You may be my Father but you´re also my best friend.
I can remember the puppy I asked for, you got it for me. When I wanted to make the cheerleader´s squad, you gave me the courage to try for it. You were there the first time I fell in love, too. And when I was married, you were there to give me your blessings. And what a joy it was when I gave birth to my son. When I had doubts about how good of a parent I would be, again, you were there to encourage me and give me the strength and confidence to know I could and would be a good parent. Yeah, more than just my Father, you´re my best friend and I don´t see how Missy could possibly think that you love her more than you love me.
DARLING, WHY ARE YOU SPENDING YOUR TIME WORRYING ABOUT WHO I LOVE THE MOST? IT SHOULD ONLY MATTER THAT I LOVE YOU BOTH. YOU HAVE ALWAYS BEEN THE TYPE OF PERSON WHO´S NEEDED SOMEONE TO HOLD YOUR HAND ALONG THE WAY SO YOU WOULD KNOW THAT THINGS WERE GOING TO BE ALL RIGHT. IT´S BROUGHT ME SO MUCH JOY TO BE THERE FOR ALL OF THE IMPORTANT THINGS IN YOUR LIFE BUT IT´S ALSO BROUGHT ME MUCH JOY JUST TO HEAR YOUR VOICE EACH NIGHT AS YOU CALL BEFORE YOU GO TO SLEEP.
Yeah, but what about all the things you´ve done for Missy? She started telling me--bragging almost--about all the things you´ve done for her. She told me how you came and cared for her when she was sick and in the hospital. How you brought food for her when she had nothing to eat and how you even sent some of your friends to bring clothes and furniture after her house burned down. And what about the time she was on the way to the hospital to give birth to Jamie and the car had a flat? Funny how you just happened to be there to give them a lift. It´s like you´re everywhere! Are you always there when she has problems?
I SURE TRY TO BE, JUST LIKE I´VE BEEN THERE FOR YOU WHEN YOU NEEDED ME. I KNOW IT´S STRANGE, BUT SOME OF MY CHILDREN ONLY SEEM TO CALL ON ME WHEN THEY NEED SOMETHING. THEY KNOW THAT THEY CAN DEPEND ON ME BEING THERE FOR THEM. I´M OKAY WITH IT BECAUSE IT´S A FATHER´S JOB AND RESPONSIBILITY TO BE THERE FOR HIS CHILDREN.
MISSY HAS ALWAYS BEEN THE HEADSTRONG ONE. WE USED TO SHARE SOME VERY SPECIAL TIMES TOGETHER WHEN SHE WAS YOUNGER, BUT AS SHE GOT OLDER, SHE BEGAN TO THINK THAT SHE HAD OUTGROWN ME. SHE BECAME EMBARRASSED TO EVEN TALK ABOUT ME TO HER FRIENDS. IT GOT TO THE POINT WERE SHE WOULD HARDLY CALL ME ANYMORE, NOT UNTIL SHE NEEDED SOMETHING. ALL THOSE TIMES YOU´RE TALKING ABOUT, SHE CALLED, AND YES, I DID WHAT SHE ASKED OF ME BECAUSE I WANTED HER TO KNOW THAT I STILL LOVED HER AND WAS THERE FOR HER. SHE´S OUT THERE LIVING HER OWN LIFE BUT JUST AS YOU KNOW, THERE IS ALWAYS A PLACE FOR BOTH OF YOU IN MY HOUSE. YOU CAN ALWAYS COME HOME IF YOU JUST SAY THE WORDS.
But why are you always doing those things for her and not for me? Why is it that you´re always there to rescue her and not me?
DARLING, YOU HAVE NEVER NEEDED ME LIKE THAT, BUT YOU CAN BEST BELIEVE THAT IF YOU DID, I WOULD BE THERE FOR YOU. I´M WHAT YOU NEED ME TO BE FOR YOU AND I´M WHAT MISSY NEEDS ME TO BE FOR HER.
YOU´VE ALWAYS BEEN THE CHILD THAT JUST NEEDED ME TO LISTEN TO YOU, WHEN YOU HAD PROBLEMS. YOU WANTED COMFORT AND SOLACE AND ALWAYS SEEMED CONTENT TO KNOW THAT I AM HERE AND WILL BE HERE FOR YOU IN WHICHEVER WAY YOU NEED ME TO BE. YOU´VE ALWAYS HAD FAITH IN ME WITHOUT ME HAVING TO PROVE MYSELF TO YOU. DARLING, NOT EVERYONE HAS THAT STRONG FAITH IN ME. SOME OF MY CHILDREN NEED ME TO SHOW THEM FROM TIME TO TIME HOW MUCH I LOVE THEM BECAUSE THEY THINK I MAY HAVE FORGOTTEN ABOUT THEM. BUT I HAVEN´T, AND NEVER WILL.
I guess I get a little mad sometimes when Missy or anybody else seems to think they know you better than I do. I just love you so much and feel I know you better than anyone. But as soon as I think that, someone comes along and they tell me something about you that I didn´t know and I can´t believe it. It sounds like you but it´s not the you I know. I swear, sometimes you seem like you have muliple personalitites because you´re so many different things to so many different people. How is that?
WELL, MY RELATIONSSHIP WITH YOU IS LIKE YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH ANY OF YOUR OTHER FRIENDS. DON´T YOU BELIEVE YOU CAN HAVE TWO BEST FRIENDS? AND DON´T YOU BELIEVE THAT YOU CAN LOVE TWO PEOPLE EQUALLY AT THE SAME TIME? JUST BECAUSE I´M YOUR FATHER AND YOUR BEST FRIEND, THAT DOESN´T MEAN THAT I´M NOT MISSY´S FATHER AND BEST FRIEND, TOO.
AND I DON´T HAVE MULTIPLE PERSONALITIES. THE ONE THING THAT IS CONSTANT WITH ME IS THAT I NEVER CHANGE--JUST YOUR UNDERSTANDING OF ME. AS YOU GROW OLDER AND MATURE, I FEEL LIKE I CAN LET YOU IN ON A FEW MORE OF MY SECRETS. BUT YOU SHOULDN´T FEEL BAD BECAUSE I LOVE YOUR SISTER, TOO. IT DOESN´T TAKE AWAY FROM MY LOVE FOR YOU. A FATHER CAN LOVE AND CARE FOR ALL OF HIS CHILDREN JUST THE SAME.
I guess it is pretty silly for two children to be fussing and fighting about which one their father loves the most. You always seem to know just the right thing to say to make me feel better. That´s what I love about you so much.
I LOVE YOU JUST BECAUSE YOU´RE YOU. NOW YOU GO TO SLEEP AND I WILL TALK TO YOU TOMORROW.
Okay, but one more thing before I go.
WHAT IS IT?
I just wanted to say I love you, God, My Father. Thank you.
YOU´RE WELCOME, MY CHILD.