REMEMBERING MY FATHER
My Dad, who was born in 1872, and died within three months of his ninetieth birthday, has been gone for fifty-seven years. He was sixty-three years old when I was born.
Don’t ask. It is a long convoluted story.
Today’s culture seems to place little value on the role of fathers as evidenced everywhere from pop culture and media to government policy. Yet my own experience and belief system tell me that fatherhood is important.
Billy Graham said, “A good father is one of the most unsung, unpraised, unnoticed, and yet one of the most valuable assets in our society.”
It has also been said that “Anyone can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a Dad,” implying that “Father” must be more than a figurehead. In order to live out his role effectively, there must be relationship, intimacy, and love.
The fact that my father was sixty-three when I was born in 1935, means that he was already an “old” man, which seemed to preclude the possibility that he would be the kind of father a small child needed.
It is true that My Daddy, that I can remember, did not play with me. He did not teach me to ride a bike or push me in the swing, but he sat patiently, by the hour, while I played beautician. He allowed me to dampen his hair and role it on tiny metal curlers that I filched from my Mom’s beauty supplies.
I do not remember an overabundance of hugs and kisses, but I knew he loved me.
One of my most vivid memories of daddy was the day he returned from an extended trip. I was about six years old. Mama told me he was coming, so I was waiting. When I saw him coming up the walk, I ran to the screen door, and there he was.
Looking down through the screen at my little blond head, he said,
“Oh,” I needed to see you.”
I have never forgotten that moment. “Oh, I needed to see you,” is, perhaps, the most important—the most memorable thing my daddy ever said to me. Those six little words spoke volumes. Daddy loved me. He missed me. I was important to him—and so much more.
When I think of that moment, I still see the look in his eyes and feel the warmth of those words.
Daddy brought me a present that day. He brought me a little clear glass dog—not crystal—filled with tiny balls of multicolored candies. I have cherished that little glass dog for more than seventy-seven years. It couldn’t have cost more than fifteen cents, if that much, but it is worth a mint to me now.
There was never an abundance of money for an expensive gift, but my father gave me gifts far more precious than anything he could ever have bought.
He worked tirelessly, mostly as a day laborer on someone else’s farm. He provided a humble home, put food on the table and clothes on our backs, but he gave us so much more than those essentials.
He instilled in me a work ethic, which has served me well through the years. He taught me to be honest and obedient. He set a godly example for me taking me to church and teaching me to love God. He did not leave this responsibility to someone else.
My Daddy was not young to be sure. He grew up in an era when fathers were often severe and demanding, as was he, at times, but He was a good and faithful father. I knew I was loved. After fifty-seven years, I still miss him, but I have my little dog.
In Ephesians 6:4, (the Living Bible) the Apostle Paul gives this advice to fathers. “And you father’s don’t keep on scolding and nagging your children making them angry and resentful. Rather bring them up with the loving discipline the Lord himself approves, with suggestions and godly advice.”
Likewise, the Apostle gives advice to the children. Ephesians 6:1-2, “Children obey your parents; this is the right thing to do because God has placed them in authority over you. Honor your father and mother…”
Honor and cherish your father!!!
REMEMBER, THE SUN WILL COME OUR TOMORROW!