Forgiving our Fathers and Mothers – (Excerpt 1 – Silence)

June 24, 2014

Some weeks ago I introduced this book, Forgiving our Fathers and Mothers, in this space, a book by Leslie Leyland Fields that is recently released. Leslie is a writing colleague I met during while studying in the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program at Seattle Pacific University.

Leslie knows first-hand the great importance and value of both wanting to, and knowing how, to forgive our parents.

Through the Summer of 2014, the Daily Dad will feature some brief excerpts from this book.

Join me in these, the first selections in this continuing walk.


I hadn’t seen my father for ten years. I had no photographs of him at all and just a vague memory of his face the last time I saw him …

We had flown in from Kodiak Alaska, from the far northwest part of the country to the far southeast … I had never talked about him to my kids … He knew nothing about them …

We decided finally on a trip to the beach and loaded in the van, nine of us now, and drove to Sarasota Beach … We sat there in the white sun on the white beach, just he and I … This was my last chance to know who he was, to find a fissure, something to take me down into that frozen stillness … I asked him about the war, about his father and mother … I was bothering him. He wanted to sit in the sun, watch the water, and be quiet. I kept asking questions, trying to … I was quiet and grim …

I would not come back, I decided. It was the same as always. I felt a kind of relief that I could finally close that door …

Four years later, I was reciting the Lord’s Prayer. I feel sure I was awake when I came to these strange words: “Forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us.” I stopped … How can God’s forgiveness be dependent on my forgiveness?

Forgiving our Fathers and Mothers, Excerpts from the Introduction, xiii – xvii


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June 24, 2014 • Posted in
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