When Bill, my father-in-law died a month ago, a radical shift happened for Deb and me....we are now parentless. For all of my life I have been a son or son-in-law but those days are over. That season has passed.
Yes, I know I am still a son of God...Yes, I know I will be reunited with my biological dad, my step-dad, my mom, my father-in-law, my mother-in-law some day....but for here and now and the rest of my earth journey no one will call me "son" any longer.
Bill was the last of our parents to go and until the end I felt a covering over my life. He was a follower of Christ and by virtue of his position, he provided a spiritual shield over our lives.
I am now the new Patriarch of my family.
Patriarchs have great responsibility...they set the pace and the tone of the family they oversee. No more excuses, no more buck-passing. They need to live the example, and cover the family in prayer, and give wise counsel, and pass the faith torch to the next generation.
I feel a bit vulnerable without the prayer covering and the authority covering that I have had all my long. But I know that God has entrusted the torch to me. At 54 it's time to grow up...and be the Patriarch.