Fathers

Saint Alban’s Feastday, the Eighth Year in the Reign of Richard II

I little remember my father. It was so long ago and so infrequent that I saw him. He was, by all accounts, a valiant knight and fought at the king’s side. Sir Henry Guest, Baron of Sheen. Though I seldom saw my father, his shadow was upon everything in our home. How the servants behaved to the lay of the fields was all my father’s doings. And though I must have learned my first use of weapons or horsemenship at his hands, I cannot recall it now. He was away as always when Mother died. I felt the orphan then, even though he still lived. And when a year later I got word of his death, it was with sadness, surely, that I received the news, but of someone distant, some great personage who ought to be respected. But not my own kin.

So it is that when I think of the word “father” I have in my mind’s eye the image of the duke. He is only a decade older than myself, but he seemed to be possessed of the qualities suited to a father. Like our greatest Father, God Himself, he should be benevolent, generous, strong, slow to anger but quick to act. His judgment should be final and his love boundless.

I often wonder if I had the proper qualities to be the kind of father that I so admire, but now it is not likely I shall never know.

Though, I suppose, Jack Tucker is the closest I shall see to a “son.” What does he make of me, I wonder?