In this moving and tender memoir, Scott Sawyer traces his relationship with two men--the father who died shortly after Scott was born, and the man who took his place and loved Scott and his brother as only a dad can. Here is a celebration of the joys of family and a poignant reflection on it's sorrows and intimate insights into the character of our heavenly Father.
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Scott Sawyer knew his natural father only as a portrait on a wall. Ronnie Burk had been an aspiring young coach when he died of polio. A simple vaccine could have saved his life. Instead, he left the world--and his two baby sons--with a fleeting memory of "Daddy Ronnie."
A second father--Daddy Robert--became the flesh-and-blood dad that Scott and his brother needed. Robert Sawyer was powerful but tender. Yet, in some ways, he remained as much a mystery to his new sons as their Daddy Ronnie was.
One family’s destiny, shaped by a vaccine never taken--an ounce of fluid that would have rewritten their future.
Earthly Fathers is Scott Sawyer’s memoir of coming of age, both as a child and as a man. It is a tribute to both his fathers--the natural father he longed to know, and the stepfather who sacrificed to be everything his sons could hope for in a dad. It is also a tribute to Scott’s "bookend" brothers--Tommy, his competitive elder, and Buzzy, the younger half-sibling who carried on the brothers’ dreams--and to their mother, Patricia, whose tenacious love held the family together.
Yet Earthly Fathers is also a tenuous journey traveled between two worlds. Scott learned to navigate both grief and hope, both longing and suppression, venturing into territory where a son’s search for identity could also mean disloyalty. His journey shaped his convictions as a man--convictions embracing the reality of pain, the perplexities of life, the mystery of prayer, and the goodness of God.
To read this book is to enter the holy ground of a family’s laughter, losses, and love. Memories live on of sibling rivalries, enduring bonds, unbearable griefs; of homespun comic strips, high school football, lasting love found. Yet Earthly Fathers is also the sacred-but-scarred turf of one man’s struggle to forge his identity, to honor both of his fathers, and to fight for a true and lasting faith. Finally, in its tapestry of relationships, Earthly Fathers offers glimpses of a heavenly Father--unseen, powerful, life-giving, intimately involved in our lives.About the Author:
Scott Sawyer has edited a broad range of publications, from the literary journal Mars Hill Review to Focus on the Family magazine. His work as a freelance writer has appeared in publications as varied as Dow Jones Online Reviews, Christianity and the Arts, Athletes in Action, Magill’s Literary Annual, and Inklings. Scott and his wife, Joy, also an author, live in Denver.
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