Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Fathers and funerals

If I had to decide what my funeral would be like, it'd be a lot like the one in Elizabethtown, a highly underrated film starring some guy and that one girl. At this funeral (SPOILER ALERT!!!) there is laughter, a tribute band playing Freebird, and a grand finale fire that triggers the overhead sprinkler system and empties the building while the band continues to jam. Awesome.

People always say that they want their funeral to be a celebration. They want it to be happy and not sad. I understand that sentiment and even agree to an extent, but let's agree that a cheerful funeral is a difficult feat to pull off, especially when the deceased is young or the death is unexpected. No one is happy about losing someone they love. It's helpful to remember the parts of that person we loved but even in those happy memories there is sadness. Funerals are also about grieving, and that is okay.

I went to a funeral recently. The most meaningful part for me was hearing the man's son speak. The son told a few great stories about hilarious things his father had done to embarrass him in ways only a father can.

I tried to think about what it would be like if my father died and to be honest, I really couldn't think about it for very long. I know it will devastate me. There is something special about the bond between a father and a son; something sacred. At least in my experience, I've always seen my father as an invincible hero. The world somehow seems safer with him in it. I think this is by design. I believe the feeling of protection a good father provides is meant to be a small glimpse of a heavenly father who loves us and wants the best for us.

Unfortunately, not everyone has the kind of father that provides that glimpse. Some have awful fathers and some don't have a father at all. But I believe even in those situations a heavenly father wants to fill that empty space in a person's life and provide love and protection that has been missing.

For me, I remain thankful for the dad I have. What a great glimpse he is!

And in four short months, I'm going to have a son (yikes!). Hopefully I can be a decent glimpse too.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Book Lists

A blogger I regularly read just posted a list of books that he is reading right now. I love when people do that. And I hate it.

For the past few weeks book lists have been attacking me from all angles like brain-noshing zombies. I read a blog: book list. I turn on NPR: book list. I open two different books I am currently reading: book list. book list. It's redonk.

I love book lists because I love books. I love the smell of books. I love the feel of books. I love the sound of books. I wish I married a book. Jk, jk. But I do love reading books and I am always in the process of reading at least one if not 34 (the current count of books I have started and still have some sort of intention to return to in the near future is 8 with an additional 4 waiting on deck. I got so excited today when I found out that I can freely rent electronic copies of books through my library that I tried to make out with my library card. It was awkward for both of us.

However, as with most things in life, it's not all puppy dogs and ice cream. There is a dark side to book lists. A normal person may see a book list and think, "Oh, that's nice. Maybe I will read one of those some time." Seth sees a book list and thinks, "This list is authoritative to me and it is essential that I read every single book on it and NOW." No joke, I have daydreamed about having the ability to stop time, not so that I could steal a bunch of money or do some wonderful, humanitarian thing but rather so that I could READ EVERY BOOK EVER WRITTEN. I've daydreamed about this MULTIPLE TIMES. Please allow me to pause while I push my nerd glasses upward on the bridge of my nose and simultaneously give myself a swirly and an atomic wedgie.

The bummer about having the desire to read so many books is that it makes it very difficult to finish any. That's how I get to having 8 books on my plate at the moment. But I have a new strategy: Read one book at a time. Don't start one until I finish another. I know, it's a crazy new idea I've thought of. Feel free to use it at no charge.

As for the book I'm starting with? No joke, it's called How to Read a Book.

And you thought I couldn't get any nerdier.

What books (or books) are you reading right now?