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Anybody in heaven see my father, Claude H. Thorp

I'm sitting in a Beaner's coffeeshop on Waverly Road in Lansing, MI using wi-fi with my son, Justin.  It's a milestone day for me personally because I was born on this day in 1946 which makes me 60 years-old. 

As I see the clock on my timeline ticking I've thought long and hard about what I want to do in the days ahead and what I want to leave behind.

That's where my dad, Claude Thorp, comes in.  I'm wondering if he's in heaven.  I hope so.  I truly hope that he put his heart and his faith in the only one that counts, Jesus Christ.

Why is this important to me?  Well, he's my father.  But, my memories of him are limited to less than five minutes and to a threat that he'd kill me if I didn't leave his front door.  Yeah, there's a big back story with lots of details which left lots of scars.

In 1948, he left my mom and me and never came back.  For her survival was a daily struggle.  For me, I've been on a lifelong search for my father and then for anybody who could be a father figure.  Don't get the violins out.  I'm not asking for sympathy.  I am making a statement.

If he's in one of the nooks and crannies of heaven, then I want him to know it's over.  I can't do a memory wipe like they do with a computer hard drive.  But I have to move on.  I don't have enough time left to hope for what will never happen.

I know that he died in Florida in 1992 and that he was cremated.  I also know that he had a whole another family and that he never divorced my mom.  She was a saint. 

A couple nights ago I read the introduction to Tim Russert's new book about fathers.  I could identify with the feelings of Antione Fisher who wrote the poem about the little boy inside every man.  That little boy wants to cry.  Well, I've grown up.  The little boy has left.  It's over.

Dad, I forgive you for what you've done and how your absence has dogged me most of my life.  I hope other dads take note and realize how important they are.

There's a big God and there's his son Jesus who can forgive any dad for past mistakes.  Don't assume your kid will be okay without you.

The scar over this whole in my life will loosen every now and then I'm sure.  But, I know that my relationship with Jesus Christ is minute-to-minute and that he will take whatever concerns I give him.

Enough said.  I love being a dad.  I'm proud of my two grown kids.  Despite my dad's big time screw-ups, I know he would be proud too.

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