Friday, July 4, 2008

Tributes to my dad

On August 7th, my dad will celebrate his 88th birthday. At the church my folks attend their pastor asked members to write tributes to either their fathers or their husbands. He intended to read the tributes on Father's Day in the morning service. My mother wrote a tribute to my dad, but had "cold feet" and didn't hand it in. Her neighbor gave it to the pastor later and he read it in the Wednesday night service.

Here is what my mother wrote:
When he was young he had a dream of going to Bible College but I was such a backward farm girl that I knew I could never cope with that kind of life. When he got his call to the army I was happy to get married because that other life was now set aside.

What happened is history. But what if we had not gone to Jamaica? We would not have all these wonderful children. They all have sand in their shoes. Barbie and Kieron are going there on a Mission trip in July. Brian has been there a number of times. He and daughter Sarah were there two years ago. Marianne and girls were there recently for camp and Billy and Sharon are just about there. So praise the Lord for John McKillop and his dream.
My sister Barbara, and her husband Kieron along with a team from their church, leave for Jamaica tomorrow. She also wrote a tribute.
Hi Dad,

I wanted to write a tribute to you for Father’s Day and this is a little late so will write in honor of your upcoming 88th birthday. Anyway, I think every day should be Father’s Day! I just want you to know how much I love and appreciate you. I know so many young people who have never had the privilege of having a father who cared for them or who takes an active interest in their lives. I am so thankful that you took the leadership role in our home and loved us. It was not difficult for me as a child to understand the love of our Heavenly Father when you demonstrated His love by your earthly example.

I have so many wonderful memories of very special times together and one of the most treasured memories I have is of hiking up St. Catherine’s Peak starting with a very filling breakfast of eggs, bacon and hardo bread that you cooked for us at the little park in the Blue Mountains before beginning the hike. I also remember hiking across the old farm in Canada and stopping for our most favorite treats of chocolate bars and grapes. Must be why I enjoy walking outdoors so much. Another great memory is of the early morning swim times at Doctor’s Cave and stopping by the bread truck for fresh warm, “bula cakes.”

I have always enjoyed your stories of life experiences from childhood to adulthood, courtship of Mom and especially Army life. I love the way you always sit with your Bible first thing in the morning and will never forget your admonition to make it the first reading material for the day.

Not too many girls can have their father give them away at their wedding and officiate as the pastor also and I count it a privilege that you were there for such a special day. You have been right there through all of my married life to this point, helping with grandbabies and now grand ladies, fixing whatever needed to be repaired and helping out with multitudes of chores, especially the lawn mowing. It has been such a privilege having you and Mom spend the winter months with us in Florida and I look forward to your return next year. This is just a tiny bit of a heart full of gratitude to you for your Godly example, your love, your wisdom and your care for me.

I love you,

My daughter Charity also wrote a tribute to her grandpa.
I believe that our family's strength comes from the leadership of Grandpa. I have so many good memories of being with him. I always loved riding the 4 wheeler at the Acres, listening to stories, hearing him pray, and watching him laugh. I remember one time he told me if I didn't help pick tomatoes from the garden, I wouldn't get to eat any. That was a great application from the classic Bible story. I love tomatoes so I helped. When I was little and they were visiting us in Chattanooga, a thunderstorm woke me up. Grandpa held me while I cried and shared his ice cream with me. A photograph of that event is one of my favorites. My own father has followed that example numerous times as I cried over boys and being a teenager, life decisions, etc. As the heavenly Father does, he held me until I stopped crying and helped me figure out the best solution or told me it would be okay. My beloved husband does that for me also.

I've always loved Grandpa's poetry, especially the poems he wrote for Raj and Caleb. And we had so much fun especially last summer watching Grandpa joke with us about that purple camouflage hat!!!

I love you Grandpa and I look forward to many more family times with you!


1 comment :

Anonymous said...

Hey B,
Long time no talk. I like your blog. It looks very nice. I especially like the title "CanJAmerican." Hope all is well with you and yours.

Mark Holley