This morning I spent time helping my wife with a project of hers before work. My daughter got ready on her own mainly and had the Lion King playing on her TV in her room while she was getting ready. A couple times she came out to ask me to brush her hair. Its a comforting thing to her, she can do it herself but Daddy doing it is some her and me time that she likes. The second time she came out though she was concerned and I thought at first it was kind of annoying that she was not being patient. Then I thought about it, she had been watching Lion king for about 25 minutes or so while getting changed etc. I realized what was happening.

I came into her room just as Scar stood over his young nephew. There was smoke from the stampede behind him covering the background in a hellish glaze. Simba was heart broken he had just seen his father, and his hero die. Camille was a bit upset, shes still young enough that her imagination and ability to suspend belief works without the icy barriers we adults put up, and she was crying just a bit.

Camille does not remember seeing me when I was sick thankfully so, but she has heard the stories. I can not escape them without epic levels of denial which I choose not to participate in. It is a part of me in a way as my childhood is. There were good and bad. Realizing I'm mortal is a double edged blade. Camille knowing I am mortal being part of that. I began brushing her hair while she sat on my lap trying to calm down. Her voice cracking a bit here and there as we talked about how Daddies never really leave. I can say that now. I can say that My dad is still here. The good that's in him lives on in me despite his imperfect nature. He in death like Obi Wan got to be more than he was in life for Camille. To her he was a powerful bearded man who protected her family. Through stories hes become her guardian angel, something he could no longer do in life.

I have spent several years attempting to decide how my dad would appear in the comic. It was a difficult decision as an adult I came to realize his faults after he was gone in more intimate clear detail. I have realized though, that's really not who he is now. Now he is what I make him, what my memory decides and my tales inspire. He gets to be the man I wanted him to be. He gets to stay being my hero, and become one for my children. Mufasa talking to Simba from the sky is one of the best scenes written in Disney's animations. Just as I choose to ignore that Disney all but flat out stole Lion King from an anime I get to choose to forgive my father's mistakes. For Camille and James he gets to still be Mufasa.

 

Simba, you have forgotten me. You have forgotten who you are and so forgotten me. Look inside your self Simba, you are more than what you have become, you must take your place in the circle of life. Remember who you are.... remember.... -Mufasa