The Prodigal Father

Randy managed to Face-Time Jason tonight for the first time.

“It worked!” Jason’s father crowed, a mischievous and delighted twinkle in his eyes. “I actually called you with this thing!”

Tonight, I’m left wondering: How was Telemachus supposed to feel after his father, Odysseus, returned home–and learned that dear old Dad like… slept with all these chicks and endangered lost all his crewmates and MAIMED SOME RANDOM CYCLOPS WHO WAS SIMPLY MINDING HIS BUSINESS?

I really feel for Telemachus tonight.

I don’t know who this man is or where he came from, but it very much feels like Jason’s prodigal father has returned.

“You know I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for you,” Randy told us as we face-timed with him today.

“Are you liking it okay?” we asked him. I held my breath as I always do when this topic comes up.

“I have my life back,” he told us. “I’m happy, and I’m safe.

Randy assured us that he wasn’t about to go off to do ‘anything dumb’. He wishes he had a little more freedom, but understands that he simply can’t go places unsupervised; and he swore unprompted that he wouldn’t endanger himself due to the problems he’s having with his left side. His words, not mine.

“I’m so, so grateful, Randy,” I said. Who is this person? I wondered.

“So am I,” he replied.

Jason’s father replied.

May I always remember how Jason’s nose crinkled as he bent over, laughing uncontrollably the way he does when joy takes over.

I pray that Jason always remember how he felt tonight.

In some ways, these brief, precious scenes will make it harder when we ultimately do say goodbye.

When I think of how the young Telemachus must have ached for his prodigal father, raged into the night wondering when, when–not if, but when–his father, the former fallen hero would return… it is for that child that I smile.

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