A Letter to Men: Death before Dishes?
Thaddeus Howze

Thank you for this. People may hear it from you in a way that they might not from me. I was reared in a conservative Lutheran home where my father was an active part of our lives and impressed me with the duty of loyalty and service to family, church and nation. He was very secure as a man and never associated it with money or sports. He always worked, though he was not in love with his job. We spent a few years at the poverty level ( 2 parents, 4 children), but did not know we were poor. He did a lot of housework, cooking, etc., and insisted I pitch in. He had been a mess sergeant in the army so cooking and maintaining one’s living space seemed a masculine thing to do. He always treated my mother with respect and affection, and yet told me about the commitment life together requires. We shared the conviction that such a life is God pleasing, as well as a blessing to those who live by those values. I lost him at age 21 (he was 50), but 41 years later, hardly a day goes by that I do not think of him and offer prayers of thanksgiving. I have been blessed to live the same sort of life and provided much time (my kids might say “too much”) with our 4 children who now have found jobs in other states. I’ve been able to go on to other projects having fulfilled my role as a father. I still provide support (and enjoy the company of) my wife of 40 years who went from homemaker to executive and now makes more than I do. (I am SO glad I am secure on that point!). Christ said it best, “Seek first the Kingdom of God [His rule over your life] and all these things [life’s necessities- food, clothing, love, etc.] will be yours as well.”

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