On Dad's 93rd
Thinking of all the funny things Dad said to me growing up, the gentle religious humor. "Just tell 'em it's your father's feast day," he'd suggest, deadpan, when I didn't want to go to school. We always got a holiday on the feast day of our pastor and principal, Father O'Neill.
It was the humor of an agnostic. Only Dad pulled a fast one. At the end of his life he reverted to the Methodism of his youth, went to church most Sundays. When I was in town, I would go with him, reveling in his rich baritone as he belted out the hymns he learned as a kid.
Was he hedging his bets by returning to church? Not Dad. It wasn't out of fear that he returned, I think, but out of love. He was a deeply grateful man. I imagine he was saying a lot of "thank-you's." Today I'll be doing the same.