When I was working towards my master’s degree in England, I had some pretty interesting people as my professor advisors. One was a tiny, old priest who I instantly trusted and adored. When I was working with him he recommended a certain book, which I discovered in my search in the library was considered a definitive work on the subject I was researching. I also discovered that I was being advised by the book’s author. He was a man of more knowledge than I ever dreamed to possess. He appeared to be kind, generous, and peaceful, giving me advice that I reference often and which gave me direction in the most significant decisions I would make in my life.
Because he was older when I worked with him and because it has been nearly 20 years since, I wondered if he was still on this earth when Husband and I were having a chat in the car on the way home from a visit to see family last night. Being the passenger of our trip I figured I could quickly google him to check in. I was prepared for a bit of sadness. I had no idea.
I don’t know if the father is alive or not. What I do know is that he was arrested, tried, and sentenced upon admission of guilt for the indecent sexual assault of two boys and three girls from his days working with a primary school. At first I thought it couldn’t be him, but after the second article detailing his later work at my university and in my department, I couldn’t deny it any more. I was crushed. I actually said that I wished I could rewind five minutes and just wonder instead of looking him up.
I don’t yet know how to feel about the little pieces of advice that I have lived by. I don’t know what to do with my favorite flower being such because of my experiences with him in his tiny garden. Don’t know what to do with my memories. I’m angry. I’m so sad. My heart is broken. No matter how I decide to accept this or fight it, one of my greatest heroes is dead.