father and son

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Butterfield-e1444849098769?Honour Thy Father

A Father who Pushed too Far

Athlete son played and obeyed until he could take no more

?They seemed like the perfect team. Bill Butterfield was a former Texas high school football star, renowned for his speed and power. His son Lance, a gifted defensive back, was determined to follow in his footsteps. But in Lance?s senior year- his championship season- something went wrong. A story of youth and passion, obedience and trust, insanity and murder.

In the dead of the night, after everyone else in the house had gone to bed, he would pull out a small notebook that he kept hidden away in a table drawer. It was a journal he had started keeping, no more than fifteen pages, each page containing a sentence or two.

?I was harassed because I wasn?t someone else,? he wrote on one page, and then he stopped. ?I stayed civilized under primitive conditions,? he wrote on another page, then stopped again.

He sat for hours, the only sound in the house coming from the ticking of a clock. Outside, his dog pressed his nose against the patio door, hoping to be let in. Finally, he began to write on a third page, pressing down so hard that his pen almost ripped through the paper.

?I have to be able to express my hurt?my pain?my animosity toward you or I will die . . .?

The football arched through the air, travelling in a tight spiral, and the 2,500 fans of the Richland High School Rebels rose from their seats with a startled roar. It was 1995, an autumn evening in suburban Fort Worth, and the quarterback for the Haltom Buffalos, Richland?s longtime rivals, had flung a pass toward an open receiver halfway down the field. But Richland?s free safety, senior Lance Butterfield, was already racing for the ball, his head held straight up, moving so smoothly that his shoulder pads hardly rattled. At the last second, just when the football seemed beyond him, he leapt, stretching his body and pulling the ball away from the baffled Haltom wide receiver, who had no idea that Lance was even nearby.

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Is there a Happy Ending? Hollywood versus Life

by Gavin

In the movies and many made for TV programmes, there is rapprochement between sons and their fathers, often on the deathbed. There is closure and acceptance, a final peace.

In real life this is not often the case. My father died last year after a 3 year battle with emphysema. He slowly withered over 3 years until his heart gave out. It was sudden and painless which was the best way for him to go.

About a month before he went, we drove down to see him. I was between contracts so had some time and had decided to walk the last mile with him and if he wanted, hold his hand at the end so he could have the love of his family with him as he went to wherever people go when they die.

But, this is where real life separates from idealised make-believe, as seen on TV. After a 4 hour drive to get there on a wet Friday afternoon we all sat down for a drink and a chat. He started to rip into me for not doing some things differently. I have burned into my brain his face turning purple as he gasped for air shaking his 84 year finger at me in rebuke and pouring out his venom. It would have been comical if it was not so real.

I was worried he was going to keel over on the spot he was getting so worked up. My wife was surprised at his venomous outburst and rather shocked. My mum attempting to sooth the waters said don?t worry dear he doesn?t mean it; it?s just the medication making him irritable.

Sometime later that evening in the quiet of our room I was talking with my wife and had a realisation. I had been there before. This is how he was 50 years ago when I was a child. He had always been this way. He had just removed the veneer of respectability as he got closer to death. This was the old man I knew and had grown up with.

We had never got along very well. My world was different from his and he never respected or understood mine and would often criticise or condemn my efforts without enough knowledge to hold a reasonable opinion. Read more »

Father and son

Saturday nightCap