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Sat, Nov 01, 2014 09:50 AM
Issue of October 29, 2014

A hope note
A hope note
Dr. Wayne Willis reflects on life and hope.

Happy Father's Day

June 11, 2014 | 08:27 AM

This is the true tale of two fathers and two children.

I once worked with a highly moral, highly successful woman who, for more than 30 years, had sought her father's approval. He had never molested or abused her. He had provided well for her material needs. He was a good citizen and an active church member. But he had never found it within him to say directly to his daughter, in any arrangement of words, "You're a good daughter, and I'm proud of you."

The night before he underwent a high-risk, potentially lethal surgery, sitting on the side of his bed holding his hand, his daughter summoned up the courage to ask: "Dad, do we have any unfinished business? Is there anything you'd like to say to me?" She waited — the yearning of her soul etched on her face — and, after a long pause, heard these words: "You know where my insurance papers are. And you know where my will is. And you know I love all my family." Dad missed the prompt; daughter missed the blessing she craved.

Sam Keene, popular professor, philosopher and author, delivered this tribute to his father as his father lay dying: "Dad, you have always been there whenever any of us children needed you. And across the years you have given us the best single gift that any parent could give: you took delight in us! In all sorts of ways, you let us know that you were glad we were here, that we had value in your eyes, that our presence was a joy and not a burden to you."

If you have trouble expressing love for a child or a parent, I have the game plan for you:

1. Memorize nine words: "Have I told you lately that I love you?"

2. Go deliver.

Dr. Wayne Willis

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Corydon Democrat, 301 N. Capitol Ave., Corydon, IN 47112 1-812-738-2211 email