A childhood friend's father passed away last week. For several years I saw this dad often, but it's been at least 20 years since we were last together. Still he's there - part of the backdrop for my teenage years. Because, like it or not, that's the role parents play for teenagers. Even for our own teenagers we parents form the backdrop against which their lives are lived out. Then they move to college and their "real" lives, where they begin forming their own backdrops. Backdrops to which parents don't have admittance except in a re-occuring role that serves to pull things to one side or the other while we're there.
We each stand at center on our own stage - and those stages are only so big. Each of us has a backdrop full of folks we haven't dismissed from the stage and standing there behind us they help form our world. Our perceptions. Our images. Our backdrop.
When I look back to those teenage years, my friend's father stands there, slightly off stage, laughing. He was always laughing. He took joy in his son and his son's friends. Life was fun, and funny, to him. He loved his wife passionately and showed it.
A position in the backdrop may sound weak or useless but it provides the boundaries for the stage. Looking back, smiles and laughter outshine the sadness and anger of my teenage backdrops. Makes me think about the backdrops I stand in, and in front of, now.
How about you? What kind of backdrop people surround your stage?
What kind of backdrop person are you?