The Detour

Mysterious Ways|June/July 2020

The Detour
The phone rang. It was my son, Ryan, calling from West Virginia University, where he was finishing out his final year.
Russ Hodges

“Dad, I’m not going to be able to make it home for Father’s Day this weekend,” Ryan said. “Some of the guys and I are going to go to a friend’s wedding.”

“Sure, son,” I replied after a beat. I may have seemed pretty mellow, but inside I was devastated. Twentytwo years of tradition—gone. Our family was close, and we’d always spent holidays together. Father’s Day was my favorite. We’d go to church in the morning and afterward head home and fire up the grill on the patio. Ryan and his younger brother, Roman, would join me for some quality time, grilling meats and talking sports. I looked forward to it all year, especially since Ryan had gone off to college.

I didn’t let my disappointment show though. I told Ryan to be safe and have fun and said goodbye. I guess it had been naive to expect he’d always be with us for the holidays. Ryan was growing up, and spending more time away from his parents was a rite of passage.

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June/July 2020