Authority figure
Sunday October 08th 2023, 10:23 pm
Filed under: Friends,Life

Scene: a Saturday at church about twenty-five years ago. Our son was playing basketball; the teams were a way of getting kids from different wards to meet each other.

I was cheering him on when I suddenly realized that I was, yes I was, I was actually seeing it: a teenage girl over there was watching the boys going up and down the court. She had a small gun in her hands pointed at the opposing team as they moved. Including my son.

She was big, I was not, and my immediate instinct was to note the tall older dad with the deep voice who was in the building and I quietly got up, ran once I was out of her sight, and explained what was going on.

I didn’t know him well but I knew enough to expect him to be unflappable but firm, and he was. Given that I’d just ratted her out I stayed well out of her sight so he came and found me to tell me how it had gone.

You cannot bring a gun in the church. It needs to leave.

It’s not a church! It’s a gym!

This is a private church and guns are not allowed. It needs to leave.

She huffed and puffed angrily as denied teens do and then left.

I have been grateful for his courage and help ever since.

When we were flying home from the funeral three weeks ago, who should be at the window seat of our row but him! Truly it was a delight.

Except, after 36 years of our being familiar faces, he clearly had no idea who we were.

I named his daughter, to his slow-motion recognition and then delight and we had a little bit of a conversation at last, but he seemed uncertain of himself and it seemed kinder to offer his family my regards and require no more of this good man in his (it surprised me) old age.

It had made him happy that a stranger spoke well of his daughter, and that is enough.

2 Comments so far
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What on earth she was thinking, not only bringing the gun but having it out! Why?!

So nice that you got to see him again, and please him that way.

Comment by ccr in MA 10.10.23 @ 8:20 am

Oh my. Not sure I would have been as calm as either of you apparently were. I’d like to think I would – but – wow!
You gave him a moment of happiness and that’s wonderful.

Comment by Chris+S+in+Canada 10.10.23 @ 8:55 am

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