An Open Letter

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Dear Dustin and Brandon, 

I wanted to write something to tell you how much I miss you and I sat here struggling with my feelings and writing nothing.  Visions of your faces dance fleetingly on the screen of my mind and I am reminded again how a memory cannot measure up to a hug; how pictures of you on the wall are infinitely inferior to playing with you. 

 But the throes of my passion here are nothing more than the premature convulsions of the natural course of all fathers.  Premature in that I missed many of those glorious hours in the years of your childhood.  None-the-less, I take comfort in the truth that your absence has made you more precious to me.  It is now impossible for me, like some fathers, to take you granted.  When the ocean is distant, we long for the sea.  When water is scarce we thirst for a drink.  And so I yearn for you.

 So are you listening to the sentimentalism of a lonely father?  Perhaps.  But how can I deny my feelings?  How can I look at your picture on the wall and not desire you here?

 And I do desire, not in futility but in hope.  For even now there are those moments of joy when I touch you and listen to you breath.  But there is coming a day when time nor space nor death will separate you and I.  We will play together in eternity before the face of God.  Like an overflowing fountain, the joy of your presence will never be sated or quenched.  We will walk and explore; breath and sing; quite happy to never come to the end. 

Tolkien wrote that a good story "can give to child or man that hears it, when the `turn' comes, a catch of breath, a beat and lifting of the heart, near to (or indeed accompanied by) tears . . ." And such will be the story of our lives when the plot turns.  The conclusion of The Last Battle says it so well:

Then Aslan turned to them and said:

"You do not yet look so happy as I mean you to be."

Lucy said, "We're so afraid of being sent away, Aslan. And you have sent us back into our own world so often."

"No fear of that," said Aslan. "Have you not guessed?"

Their hearts leaped and a wild hope rose within them.

"There was a real railway accident," said Aslan softly. "Your father and mother and all of you are--as you used to call it in the Shadow-Lands--dead. The term is over: the holidays have begun. The dream is ended: this is the morning." And as He spoke He no longer looked to them like a lion; but the things that began to happen after that were so great and beautiful that I cannot write them. And for us this is the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story, which no one on earth has read: which goes on for ever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.

Such is my desire and passion and hope for you and I.

I do miss you and love you forever.

Dad