Tho’ much is taken, much abides,
we are not that strength
which in old days
moved earth and heaven, that
which we are, we are.
One equal temper of heroic beauty
made weak by time and fate, but
strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not
Alfred Lord Tennyson
A plain photocopy of this section from Tennyson’s epic poem, Ulysses, is placed under the glass top of my desk where I can see it daily while working. Tennyson’s words clenched my heart the first time I read it a decade ago, and I felt similar response when I rediscovered it again last year after my dad was diagnosed with cancer.
A girl’s dad is her first hero. I know my father now through my adult eyes and with my own years as an experienced parent and I still see him through my heart as his child; and he has remained hero to me. I count that as good fortune because I recognize that not all sons and daughters can genuinely say those same words.
I pray today that my dad will find comfort in the love of his family and friends, have courage to face days when he hurts, trust in his caregivers and his own body to adjust to treatment toward healing, and always, always know peace and hope in God’s abiding promise to ‘follow him with mercy and grace all the days of his life.’ (Ps 23) Amen