One of my first memories of Dad is when Mom would start cooking supper and anticipation began to fill the air….. 4:30 pm was when we all began to gather. Because Dad was coming home! I remember him coming in and all of us being there to rush to him and how he would pick us up and touch our heads to the ceiling…… How mom’s calling “Daddy’s home!” filled the air, and how even the dog was excited!
It was okay that as we got bigger, it hurt our armpits just a little when he lifted us up under our arms…… and altho I was pleased to be “bigger.” it was just a little sad when I became too big to lift.
I remember one time when my sister was racing on her bike, and wiped out horribly. Dad came running and scooped her up and took her into the house…. and even tho I could see that her head was bleeding, I just knew she would be okay, because Dad had her.
When we were sick and camped out on the couch, he would come in from work and tenderly place his so big hands on our heads and faces to see if we had a fever, and I felt so cared for, that this big man would so gently check to see how sick I was…..
There was a time when money was short, and Dad took another job to work after he was finished with his day job……. we weren’t short in that we worried about the house payment or lights or food….. but he wanted us to take vacations in the summer, and have better than just surviving…….
We all tease him about the Saturdays when mom would be gone and he was in charge of the “room cleaning” that we did every week….. How what passed for clean with mom was a no go for him….. How he would come in and inspect and demand better. I have never admitted how good it felt when we finally had it done right….. how satisfying it was to see order and neatness. (Trust me,, I have never been orderly OR neat!)
And even tho he did tug a bit, it was wonderful that my big, strong, dad would actually curl my hair for church the next day…..
I also remember,, how living in a town that was somewhat racist, I came home with words that he explained to me were not any way to refer to another person. That skin color doesn’t matter…. that it’s what inside that counts. And I believed him and learned….. because my Dad didn’t lie. Ever. I have never heard my dad lie or “take liberties with the truth”… as he is wont to say!
I saw him love my mom….. when she would be playing the piano and he would come in and do a little dance and sing along…. I loved that!
When I got older, somehow I was under the impression that I knew more than he did and that he could no longer teach me anything…. Gotta love that teenage know-it-all attitude! But even then, I knew he was right more than I liked……
We were driving somewhere one day, just the two of us, and he was talking to me about how sometimes you feel like you should have accomplished more with your life….. I wanted to comfort him, but I couldn’t get over feeling almost incredulous that he would feel that way!
My Dad was always accomplishing….. He was the most honorable man I knew….. and I had more respect for him than even I knew…. To me he was perfect…. and the life he had made for himself and all of us was perfect as well…..
My dad is still the most honorable man I know…. and I have more respect for him than anyone else in the world! He is always learning, always growing, always loving…..
And when I was in the darkest place I had ever been in my life, when the very foundations of my soul were shaken, I could still believe that my heavenly Father loved me and was for me. Because I had a lifetime of experiencing that with my Dad. He has truly shown me the Father’s heart….. even during the times I couldn’t see……
“And if even your earthly father knows how to give good gifts, how much more will your heavenly Father give to you…..”
Thank you, Dad, for being an example of an earthly version of my heavenly Father to me, so that the trust I have in you to help me in all I need makes it easier to trust in Him.
Happy Father’s Day! I love you!