As I wandered out amongst the desert stars wheeling above me in grand parade, I prayed the prayer that every father worth his salt has prayed a version of at some time in his life, perhaps a million times throughout history:
God, let ME pay for whatever sins I have committed.
Give Me the fruits of hardships, sorrow, blood and pain.
Burden ME with the horrors of war, pestilence, death, hatred, tragedy, debt, error and envy.
Even though the remainder of my life be spent with my earthly form riddled with cancerous, purulent tumours knifing in horrible agony through my body and rendering my mind incoherent, let my children be free of it all.
Do not suffer them to pay for the sins of their father, their grandfathers, their ancestors.
Even though my eternal self squirms and screams in whatever terrible plane of existence is reserved for the maggoty soul of a wretched man, gladly I choose it if in return my children would live safely in love and peace.