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  #11  
Old 08-11-2019, 04:35 PM
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DeltaRomeo DeltaRomeo is offline
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This.........

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Dickens View Post
Scott, you've so eloquently expressed what so many of us have felt when we lost our own dads. Reading this today gave me a renewed appreciation for everything my dad gave me, my continued sense of loss and further appreciation for how we affect our children and grandchildren. My condolences on your loss!
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  #12  
Old 08-12-2019, 05:38 AM
Foghorn Foghorn is offline
 
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I would have loved for my Dad to experience this adventure with me. You’ll always cherish these memories, my condolences.
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  #13  
Old 08-12-2019, 06:29 AM
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Default Sorry

Scott,
Sorry for your loss.
Thanks for sharing.......
You have wonderful memories.
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  #14  
Old 08-12-2019, 08:29 AM
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Default 2. The Sending







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  #15  
Old 08-12-2019, 08:30 AM
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Default 2. The Sending

After several months of grieving, with 60 years of marriage now lost to the way of all flesh, the mother called her son over one night. She had something important to say. The son did not ask his mother what she wanted, but he felt the gravity of it. So he just came over. He could feel the onset of widowhood pervading the home where his mother now lived alone. Much of the father’s furniture was already gone, and there was a darkness left over by a profound sense of absence.

“We never really did anything for you,” his mother was saying. “Your brothers we did a lot for, and your nieces and nephews we did a lot for,” she went on, “but you being single and independent, we never really did much.”

His mother described how she could hear the father telling her, even cheering her on, to send the son to Israel. It was an oft-expressed yearning by the son to visit the Holy Land someday, and now the mother was offering the son a parting gift on behalf of the father, herself to experience the journey vicariously and joyfully. And the offering was received with joy. He would be sent to Israel in mid-June.

“And the America trip,” said the son. “You know I am flying through the country again this year?” It took the mother a little by surprise.

“But where will you go?” she asked with disappointment. She did not expect it. The question was tinged with the same worry she expressed twice before in 2016 and 2017 when the son was sent airborne across America for month-long stretches.

“Wherever I am sent,” he said. “I have no plan, but I am being called again to go.” The mother did not accept his reply as warmly as he wanted, so he returned his focus to the Israel trip. He was first being sent there, paid in full, and he could hardly find words to express his gratitude.

So the son was sent, and before the summer solstice arrived, he found himself on board an Airbus A330-300 bound for Tel Aviv.



Once there, he walked along the Mediterranean shoreline, his feet moving wet and cool in the fine, hard-packed sand and being washed over occasionally by the greeting of waves. He moved slowly but intently, carrying his sandals and stepping unseen and miniscule as if walking in a dream with nobody on the beaches ever seeming to notice. But it was no dream. He was in Israel feeling as though he had somehow and suddenly and miraculously been snatched up and carried to a place where the calling to come had been so vociferous and pre-ordained. So he moved down the flats of breaking water with steady drive and purpose, the world itself rolling under his feet.






That night, after settling in and going over introductions and protocols with the tour guide, the son looked out over Tel Aviv from the room of his hotel and watched a full moon casting a warm salty glow over the city.



The next morning, there was a pink calm and quiet over the skyline. To this the son bade farewell. He would not again see Tel Aviv for seven days.

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  #16  
Old 08-12-2019, 10:40 AM
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Scott, your words are poetic, your travels are inspiring…my best to you and your mother…
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  #17  
Old 08-12-2019, 03:01 PM
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Sorry to hear about your father Scott. Thanks for sharing another story with us.
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  #18  
Old 08-13-2019, 09:16 AM
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Default 3. Michael







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  #19  
Old 08-13-2019, 09:17 AM
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Default 3. Michael

The son’s life in Israel brought him through many thousands of years of history and legacy, of horrific battle and siege and suffering in war, of rising and falling, of building up, of tearing down, of cultural and political clash and division and reorganization and amalgamation the world had never matched in all of its years. It was a life of accountability, each split second of which the son knew to be an immeasurable gift passed on to him by the father; so thus, as in flying the RV-8 together, the son made the most of his short time in Israel, his father with him in spirit sending him onward.

Michael, the tour guide, had spent most of his adulthood in the Israeli Special Forces before his involvement with tourism in such places as Cuba, Spain, Italy, Greece, Jordan, and Israel. Michael took the son through Israel and provided him with historical backdrop, language translation, border-crossing, and route planning.



That day, the first of the week-long tour, the son began in the port city of Jaffa, site of the ancient prophet Jonah and his commission to go to Nineveh. Jaffa was also the home of Simon the Tanner where Peter, one of the Twelve, spent the earliest years of his apostleship. Thus, St. Peter’s Cathedral was originally built in Old Jaffa over a medieval citadel.



Caesarea came next, site of Paul’s trial before the Roman Governor, Felix and, consequently, where Paul appealed his case as a Roman citizen to Caesar.



The ancient city of Caesarea was designed and built by King Herod the Great, the vassal of Rome. The son could see Herod’s palace, over 2,000 years old, outlined in ruins under the Mediterranean tide.



Not far away sat the Crusader Fortress. The son went in and looked up and felt a sense of fleeing and abandonment from a thousand years hence.



At Mt. Carmel, where the great prophet Elijah brought on the defeat of the Baal-worshipping false prophets and priests, there was an Israeli military exercise taking place. As a former special operations soldier for Israel, Michael knew what they were doing, but he could not talk about it. Instead, he turned his attention to the prophet Elijah, including the prophecy of him warning God’s people of the Messianic epiphany.







On the way to Megiddo, the site of great Biblical battles and the last stand of the Hebrew people during the Babylonian siege of Israel, Michael showed the son a set of ancient tombs cut out of the rock behind a guard rail on the main highway. These, he said, were not unlike the tombs referred to in scripture, and probably dated back at least 2,500 years.



Megiddo, from which the Greek term Armageddon was derived, was prophesied to be the site of the final battle between good and evil before the coming of the Messiah. Given its bloody, carnage-filled past, the son could feel the full import of that prophesy as he beheld the ruins where, many times, this stronghold was writhing with torment, with screaming, with the stench of death, with the throes of ancient combat.

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  #20  
Old 08-13-2019, 09:18 AM
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Default 3. Michael

From the gates of the fortress Megiddo, the son could see the Valley of Jezreel marching up through the ancient entrance with the vibrancy and fertility of a nation living at peace. How long such peace would last was yet to be seen. Michael himself expressed an uncertainty about how things in the world were shifting militarily and economically.



Once leaving there, the son soon found himself in Tiberias, a city tucked tightly on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee. He was walking through an Orthodox Jewish cemetery before the sun went down and saw the Golan Heights rising up into the beams across the waters on the other side.



The next morning brought the son to Nazareth where Jesus grew up and worked as a carpenter with his parent father, Joseph. It was also the site where, traditionally, the archangel Gabriel appeared to Mary and announced to the world the coming of the Messiah in the form of the Christ child. Built over that site, held since the Byzantine and Crusader eras, was the largest basilica in the Middle East, the Basilica of the Annunciation. Michael took the son inside.







Underneath were diggings that revealed ruins of the village Nazareth that existed during the time Jesus.



In Capernaum, the launching point of Jesus’s ministry, were Peter’s house and the ruins of an entire city, essentially intact.





A 2,000-year-old boat, discovered in a mud bed on the Sea of Galilee, was preserved and on display in a museum just offshore.



The son was carried by boat from Capernaum across the northwestern corner of the Sea of Galilee and back to Tiberias for the night.

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