Being 50, mortality is more than just looming in the future. It’s all around, inside and out, the way you feel when you get up in the morning, when you bend down to pick up a child or put on your shoes. This is to the fathers, grandfathers, sons, brothers, and friends, in various states of good health and bad, leaving, or even passing on before us. Those of us blessed to have these people in our lives and to share memories of them from our past wouldn’t be the same without them.
A number of my good friends have lost loved ones in the past couple of years. Recently, one of my best friends and brothers, Baron Farwell, lost a father that he considered a hero and his beloved. I know that same feeling. I also know a few brothers/friends who have lost their fathers. They can all identify with that unique and special feeling of grief that comes from the loss of a father or mother figure in our lives. I know one of the things that makes me feel closest to Baron is the type of feelings we share and the family/cultural values that we have in common from our parents. Baron taught me so much in the 36 years we’ve known each other. Much of the wisdom, guidance, loyalty, commitment, and trustworthiness that he shared with me I’m sure he learned from his father, as I have from mine. We have been blessed to have them in our lives. I am particularly blessed because I have a number of friends that share the experience of the influence of father/brother figures in our lives. It’s no coincidence that most of us that share some spiritual fateful belief consider a father figure as the focal point of that faith. Mothers are devine. They have a special relationship to all of us. But father figures, when we have them, add stability, confidence, assertiveness, strength, and tenderness. That means a lot to the development of our characters and personalities.
I’m going to miss Mr. Farwell, but I’ll be forever thankful to him for giving me and all of us Baron and the number of siblings that he raised and mentored. Baron will be teaching me the grace that it takes to endure mortality as he grieves the loss of his father. Me, my brother, my family, and countless friends and relatives will be there to support him in this effort. His father will be teaching us one last vital lesson, as we experience the dignity and grace of his family as they endure this substantial challenge. No doubt, he has prepared them for this, as he has so many other things. Those of us who are blessed to have known him and are blessed to have similar influences in our lives will learn this lesson also. Let us reach out to those father/mother figures in our lives that mean so much to us and show them our appreciation. Give them our love and acknowledge their importance in our lives. Thank you Ronald Farwell. Rest in peace. Baron and Farwell family, we’re here for you.