If there's one deep regret-I can't see Nate grow older
Posted in the Kimberling City Forum
#1 Apr 8, 2013
'If there's one deep regret, it is that I can't see Nate grow older'
Beautiful Nate: the story of hope
Dennis Mansfield had all answers. The God-fearing man knew how to parent. He was in control of everything. He was the voice of Branson's religious right. He was arrogant. He was selective in choosing his friends . he was political.
Today, Dennis Mansfield is a broken man, "loved by unloved people," and he's poured out his heart in a very personal book entitled "Beautiful Nate."
"I've learned I don't have all the answers.. My past bravado in posing and pretending may have looked good, but it was not good."
The Dennis Mansfield known as a lobbyist and a politician is a different man today.
He met the Branson Independent Free Newspaper for hot chocolate at the Bass Pro to talk about his book.
Mansfield has relived his son's March 11, 2009, death again and again . as he wrote it, as he read it in a recording studio for the audio version and yet again as he talks about the book that was released March 4.
But it's not just a story about his 27-year-old son, Nathan Dennis Mansfield. It's about someone who is reading it and his or her own vulnerabilities.
The 57-year-old man drops all the pretenses that he once lived by, sharing his vulnerability to tell a story of family love, a life lost and Heaven's promises.
Rewind to the year 1991, when Mansfield moved his family to Branson.
"Everything my wife and I touched while joining and working in association with www.FocusontheFamily.org
seemed to flourish," he writes.
He had become the spokesman for the religious right, heading the strong lobbying group known as the Branson Family Forum, the state version of national groups like Focus on the Family and the Christian Coalition.
His children "watched their dad become either a great champion or an incredibility evil man, depending on who was voicing which opinion."
"I couldn't have asked for a greater gift from God," Mansfield says, adding, but "if there's one deep regret, it is that I can't see Nate grow older."
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