The great J.R.R. Tolkien once penned these intriguing words to one of his sons:
The link between father and son is not only of the perishable flesh: it must have something of aeternitas about it. There is a place called "heaven" where the good here unfinished is completed: and where stories unwritten, and the hopes unfulfilled, are continued. We may laugh together yet... (Letter to Michael Tolkien, 9 June 1941).
Today being the thirty-first anniversary of the death of my own father, these words have been on my mind throughout the day.
Over these past three decades, so much has happened in which I would have liked my father to share. Though I have frequently felt the presence of my father because of the aeternitas shared between a father and son, so much good begun by him remains yet unfinished, so many stories of the two of us remain unwritten, so many of our hopes are still unfulfilled. With each passing year, I long more and more for the continuation of each of these and for the pleasure of laughing once again with my father. I long for the day when something of the aeternitas of his paternity is fulfilled.
The verse for the Gospel acclamation for the Mass of the day, felt especially poignant to me today: "Our Savior Jesus Christ has destroyed death and brought life to light through the Gospel" (II Timothy 1:10). It is my great hope that my father and I will both share fully in the victory of the Lord Jesus and gaze eternally upon the beauty of his face.
Please, in the charity of your prayers, remember my father today.