In reading Tolkien’s Silmarillion, I noticed something interesting. Most people in that book, especially the Men, are fiercely proud of their heritage, and identify strongly with their fathers, especially. The sentiment is reciprocated by others as well, who will think someone worthy simply because they knew their father. At first, this concept seemed foreign to me, but as I thought about it, I realized that there hasn’t always been such a separation of identity, and I realized why we’ve moved so towards such a separation.
In today’s society, family, fathers included, are often not worth mentioning. The fact that you had one, once, is an understood, and no one cares, provided that you’re a good person. This is because of the prevalence of sin in familial relationships, from divorces to simple “bad parents.” People don’t make themselves worthy of being recognized, so they are not, and sinful fathers make themselves an embarassment to their children.
In the past, I had always taken great pride in my strong family. My siblings and I were generally well behaved and gifted, and loved our parents, who loved us as they loved each other. Both my dad and my mom were incredible influences throughout my childhood, and without them, I’ve always known I would be much less than I am. That pride was shattered when my mom left my dad, and since then, I’ve been left wondering some, on both sides.
Therefore, I would now like to say that I am proud, very proud, to be my father’s son. He is a good man, a strong man, and deserves more for his works than this life has given him. I will not feel shame at being the son of Theodore Wilkinson, and would be honored to stand by him in any battle, be it of this world or of the spirit. At the same time, I am also glad I am my mother’s son. Even though the amount of pride in her I’ve lost is likely immeasurable, and even though she has disappointed me, the woman she was and the woman she is are not wholly different, and I love her still for the things she’s done, and still does, for me, and I would fight for her to keep her safe.
And I know my father still would, too.