Dad, You’re in my Haibun

What is a venial sin? What is the Immaculate Conception? What are the Ten Commandments? What are the seven mortal sins?

As a young child, I had to memorize answers to Catholic Catechism questions before I could make my first holy communion. One of the greatest benefits I gained from my early Catholic education was the ability to memorize. I spouted off those answers quickly and matter-of-factly as my father patiently sat in his big green fake-leather chair, asking the questions. He never went to church – except for mother’s day, Christmas and Easter. Yet he sat patiently, testing me on my catechism questions.

I remember my father as undemonstrative. I don’t remember being hugged or hearing him say, “I love you.” But I understood years later. He showed his love in different ways. For example, listening to me spout off doctrine he didn’t believe. The one answer I parroted, but could never ever understand, and never dared to ask a nun or priest about, was the one that basically told me my father would go to hell because he didn’t believe. No way. He had the patience of Job. He was a good man. And he was my dad.

huge white pelican
rules of gravity be damned –
soars in autumn skies

white-pelican-1926545_1920

The White Pelicans migrate every fall to Florida. With a 9′ wingspan, they are one of the largest birds in North America. And they soar.
Amaya hosts dVerse today, the virtual pub for poets. She asks us to considerthe 7 deadly sins, and/or the 7 virtues. We may consider our relationship to them — or how they affected us at some point in our lives. I’ve written a haibun: 2 or 3 tight paragraphs of prose (must be true), followed by a traditional haiku.
Missing my dad….

33 thoughts on “Dad, You’re in my Haibun

  1. kim881 July 17, 2018 / 3:09 pm

    I love the title, Lill, the white pelican is gorgeous, and what a wonderful tribute to your dad!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian July 20, 2018 / 7:33 am

      Thank you, Kim. Ah yes…the title…..kind of like, “you’re in my thoughts, dad.” ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Grace July 17, 2018 / 3:30 pm

    In a way, I also wrote about my dad. This is such a lovely tribute to a great father. I had the same experience with the nuns in my school, ha ~ Love your haibun – you chose an amazing animal- the pelican soaring in the sky.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian July 20, 2018 / 7:34 am

      Thank you, Grace. Finally getting to all my commenting and reading this morning and later today 🙂

      Like

  3. Gospel Isosceles July 17, 2018 / 3:45 pm

    Lillian, this is making me tear up. Your devotion, not to your Catechism or to the taboo teaching about hell and unbelievers, but to your dad and to God’s love, it really shines. The detail about the fake leather chair paralleled with the memorization of something not flowing from the heart stood out. I’m so glad you learned to read between the lines and to see that love doesn’t always look like what we think it should.

    Liked by 2 people

    • lillian July 20, 2018 / 7:34 am

      What an absolutely wonderful response to read this morning. Thank you! It is truly appreciated.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. rothpoetry July 17, 2018 / 4:07 pm

    Beautiful tribute to your father. We all go through times of questioning and doubt. I guess what’s important is where we come out! Love the white bird!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian July 20, 2018 / 7:35 am

      Excellent insight in your comment here. Glad you enjoyed the haibun!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Glenn Buttkus July 17, 2018 / 4:19 pm

    Terrific haibun response to a complex prompt. How wonderful as you look back, you have the wisdom to color your memories with love. The haibun is killer.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian July 20, 2018 / 7:36 am

      Thank you, Glenn. “wisdom to color your memories with love” — now that is a wonderful statement and ideal. 🙂

      Like

  6. Frank Hubeny July 17, 2018 / 4:34 pm

    Nice line: “rules of gravity be damned” Given your description of your father, I can’t see any way he went to hell either.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Jo July 17, 2018 / 5:47 pm

    This is a lovely tribute to your father!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian July 20, 2018 / 7:37 am

      Thank you, Jo. He was a quiet and special man! 🙂

      Like

  8. Carol J Forrester July 17, 2018 / 6:13 pm

    This is a wonderful piece and it’s got a wonderful sense of familial bond in it that gives the whole piece warmth.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian July 20, 2018 / 7:37 am

      Thank you, Carol. Your words capture what I intended…..

      Like

  9. Mary (tqhousecat) July 17, 2018 / 7:01 pm

    The things we pick out from our memories that replace the standard, expected rules of conduct bind us just as deeply if not more. One of mine is 3:00 am with my dad on Thanksgiving morning helping prepare the turkey. A memory that I carry more than any other. Thank you for sharing this. And I love the pelican! Saw them in Florida 5 years ago and they were so much fun to watch!

    Liked by 2 people

    • lillian July 20, 2018 / 7:38 am

      …Glenn made the comment that it is wonderful to color our memories with love….seems to me you’ve done that with your father as well ❤

      Like

  10. annell4 July 18, 2018 / 9:11 am

    I love your write. You have said it well. I love your Father, who wanted the best for you, even if he didn’t believe. I love the pelican, a wonderful beautiful bird. Makes me think of home.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian July 20, 2018 / 7:40 am

      Thank you, Annell. He was a very special man. I think as young children we just take our parents for granted….we go through those teenage years when we think they’ve become old-fashioned…and then we grow and have families of our own and we treasure their stability and their love. I think when they’re gone….we reflect back and remember so much more and with so much more insight. 🙂

      Like

  11. myforever77 July 18, 2018 / 9:24 am

    Never assume anyone went to Hell, God knows the perfect timing to shower us with His grace, as Catholic we are also taught never to judge the soul of anyone. The nuns are obligated to warn us but never to judge us. I love your writing.

    Liked by 2 people

    • lillian July 20, 2018 / 7:40 am

      Thank you. I’m glad you enjoyed my haibun.

      Like

  12. Lona Gynt July 18, 2018 / 10:02 am

    I was sitting in a chair once going over some Mormon doctrine with my son about our rather complex view of the gathering of Israel, Bible was open in my lap, feet were propped up, chair was way to comfortable, when I realized I had half fallen asleep and had started mumbling incoherently about ketchup and mustard, I started awake to see my 11 year old looking at me with a quizzical bemused expression. My Gosh what a laugh we had. He is 23 now and whenever we are hearing someone drone on in doctrine a tad too esoteric we can nudge each other and mention ketchup and mustard and smile. We are in heaven, and I think your dad is too, from the moment he sat down in that green chair to teach you. Nice!

    Liked by 2 people

    • lillian July 20, 2018 / 7:41 am

      Thank you, Lona. For your wonderful comment and sharing here. I truly appreciate it! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • lillian July 20, 2018 / 7:41 am

      Thank you. He was a special man — in all his quiet ways.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. katiemiafrederick July 18, 2018 / 3:37 pm

    Hi Lillian.. as far as the 7 Cardinal Sins and Virtues
    Discussed today on 7.18/18 as i Love the Ring of
    Those Numbers i find that Peace Dies without
    Passion so i come Bearing Both Gifts
    of Rocky in Virtue but Passion
    More Specifically today
    as Sith for
    our Shadow
    Parts as far as Does
    God Wear Clothes or Does
    God Just Hang Around with
    Other Dogs and Wait for a Master
    of Love in Kind to Provide all one will eat
    Kibbles and Bits for it is True OuR Cat Yellow
    Boy stays Attached to Wife Katrina for Predictable
    Subsistence always comes and a Warm Lap of Kindness
    too. hmm.. so what about
    Lust we most all feel and
    sense that
    there is no need
    to talk about it just
    don’t ask don’t tale
    as that is always the
    Way of Clothed Human
    Lust still.. for what i have come
    to find yes God is both Literally
    And Metaphorically and yes Dog
    And Cat too Love for the Best paRT
    oF LiFE that both comes and goes.. there
    is not even anything i need to know and feel
    and sense but Do Love as God now.. and it is
    True some folks
    See a bigger
    Love And Give
    And Share A Bigger
    Love and some folks
    Hide Love under tight
    Wraps of Clothes so in this
    way it is True God wears clothes too..
    Your Father Brought you Love and that too is all that counts..
    Moreover my FriEnd the never ending paRT of YouR Father
    NoW who Still Continues to exist in your HeART expreSSinG forevernow
    as SPiRiT as that Love Lives Eternally now outside the Bounds of Science
    And even Infinity for Science has no real idea how this Love stays Eternally
    now or even what our Conscious Being Fully is too in this way this God that
    is Love
    is MaGiC
    Beyond
    all Rabbits
    coming out
    of Top Hats now
    for this is Love is Beyond
    all Measure this Love We Co-Create now..
    heHe.. never judge a Sith by His and or Her
    Cover for that’s a First Passion uP To LoVE..
    And the
    Peace
    of Mastering
    the Passions within
    But Enjoying them to
    the point where the Peace oF LoVE STiLL SPRiNGS
    ActuALLy LiVinG WiTHiN (GoDSuMMeRLoVES) as i metaphorse this too..:)

    Liked by 2 people

    • lillian July 20, 2018 / 7:43 am

      Oh my, Katie. Thank you so very much for your words here. I always enjoy your dropping by.

      Liked by 1 person

      • katiemiafrederick July 20, 2018 / 10:13 am

        SMiLes Lillian you are an exceptional
        Kind and welcoming
        Human.. i Love to
        Find Home Town
        Folks this
        Way
        Around the
        Globe.. i
        Appreciate you..:)

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Sascha Darlington July 18, 2018 / 9:14 pm

    Wonderful tribute. Yes, raised as a Catholic, I too had difficulties with practice and beliefs. Evidently still do.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian July 22, 2018 / 7:33 am

      Thank you, Sascha. I think there is a natural questioning that comes as we grow older….and a wondering as well.

      Liked by 1 person

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