We pause to breathe in this moment

A father’s words to his graduating son

By Rob Infinger, Guest Columnist

We have been working so long towards this moment. Every day laboring, but now as it draws near, I hesitate. I pause, try to breathe in this moment. But there is no halting time. That thing which we have so earnestly pushed towards will, now, with the devices of time, drive me inevitably forward.

Now that it’s here, I want to stop and embrace all those instances and moments that create a life. But time is no respecter of persons, and will march on and so drive me, my children and theirs after them. While this moment will fade in generational memory, its effects will ripple forward. They are not remembered any more than I remember my grandfather’s graduation nor his friends that he got in trouble with, the tears he shed, or the unfulfilled dreams he dreamt.

Though I do not know these precious gems, I do feel the weight of his success and his failures as they were lived through my mother and father and they have been lived through me and now, to my children. Waves of times past still ripple and crash over me daily even though unperceived.

Today is such a series of waves carving the shores of my family and pushing us on towards the future. I pray it is received well by those to come. I pray today is fought well enough to bless and not to curse. We are the culmination of these events and the difference for tomorrow today.

I know my efforts in my children’s life will not end here, but today there is a clear demarcation in our lives.

I have watched him breathe deeply for the first time and cry out that cry of life — as if he knew what struggle had come upon him. I watched him find joy in the simplest of pleasures: mama’s smile, a ball, the flight of bird’s wings, Cheerios sticking to his fingers. I held him tight; loving away those bumps and scrapes so monumental to a child. We have seen his heart be caught up in the beauty of a young girl and have loved him through the loss of she that stirred his inner man. I have watched him grow; first looking down to him then even and now up to the man that stands bit taller than I — and isn’t this the wish of any father?

But now, I pause wishing I could halt time for just a moment. To hold again my little boy, now a man going further and further from home to create his own future and impact the future of our family to come. With the deepest of groanings I pray his blessing and that he would sooner than I understand the beauty and responsibly of this life before God, before his fellow man, and his future family.

I love you, my son(s). Congratulations on your graduation. And so, at this moment in time and as I hug you deeply, know all of the memories that have formed this hug. These are the moments in history forgotten and remembered rippling through time to you this moment. This hug is the love of father who wants his son to go and be strong and to taste the joys of life, but also that my little boy would stay close and ask me for one more story before bed.

Now, my son, go, be strong and do good that the Lord may bless you.

Rob Infinger is a resident of Little Falls.