Thinking about Father's Day I remember Daddy and times past. I think of him in heaven and my mind goes to a future reunion. There's a mixture of melancholy, peace and joy in all those thoughts mingling.
Then my mind goes to someone who was like a daddy to me. My big brother, Bert, was 7 years older than I. He still is. That span gave him an unofficial role, especially when Daddy was out to sea as a naval officer. He became the man of the house. Ricky and I loved bragging about our big brother because his age usually pulled rank on anybody else's big brother.
Now Bert has been a wonderful father to his own two children, Brian and Karen. But he practiced for that role on Ricky and me during our growing up years. He'd cheer me on in my victories and soothe my wounds in my failures. He taught me many things from playing the accordion to shooting marbles and burning ants with a magnifying glass. Cheering, comforting, teaching. Isn't that a father's role? Well, maybe not burning ants. He was like a cool dad!
Bert even calls me Honey like a father would his own daughter. When Daddy died, Bert quietly slipped into that role permanently as our patriarch. I'd call him, sometimes in tears, over burdens on my heart. He'd offer wisdom. Then he'd always add, "I'll be praying with you about that." And I knew he would. Just like Daddy.
He's my treasure this Father's Day and I honor him for teaching us how to live. He doesn't have very big feet, but his godly footprints are huge and clear.
Just today we talked on the phone. He's weak from chemo treatments but wanted to say, "Honey, I want you and Doug to pray with me about something. . ." And he knew I would.
Bert, I love you dearly. I know you're in God's hands and nothing can take you out of them. But you're also in my heart and nothing can take you from there either.
Thank you for being more than my big brother. Happy Father's Day!
I love you,