(Don't miss the video after you read the blog.)Dear Daddy,
Since I can no longer send you a Father's Day card, I hope heaven lets you read my letter to you.
No daughter ever had a daddy who was more godly than you. It was so important because it made the road to our relationship with our heavenly Father an easy path. Bert, Ricky and I had a clear image of Him, reflected in you. Your character, love, faithfulness, wisdom, guidance, encouragement and selflessness pointed us to Him. You forged our trail well.
I remember many times as we asked for your advice, you ended with, "Just do what the Lord would have you do." You spoke that. You lived that.
Recently I found a yellowed newspaper clipping of an essay I wrote about you 19 years ago. It won a writing contest. However, the true winner was my subject! (I copied it below the clipping for my eavesdropping readers here. You have perfect eyesight now, Daddy. Some of us don't.)
"If you start a job, finish it. . .if a job's worth doing, it's worth doing right." New advice? No, but as a five year old, I thought Daddy made it up. Now at 44, with three kids of my own, I realize it's programmed into all parents. What makes my dad, my hero, different? He lived his advice.
He started a job with Uncle Sam, enlisting in the Navy. When his two years were up, he returned home but knew the job wasn't done so he re-enlisted becoming a 32-year veteran. He started a marriage and has been faithful for 55 years.
"Mama, why don't you ever worry about him straying like other sailors do overseas?"
"Because he's true to himself, Kathy, not just to me. Any man who won't even bring home a government issued ink pen won't cheat in big things."
The only wartime shot he ever fired as a Naval officer was a fluke. As Officer-of-the-Day he checked his gun's chamber and accidentally fired it. . .onto the ship docked next to his! Captains and admirals scurried around until Dad sheepishly confessed!
No, it's not his medals, though he has some, that make him my hero. It's his daily, constantly doing the job and doing it right, honestly, completely. Other sprinters may outrun him in the 50-yard dash but Daddy is a plodder, pacing himself for the marathon. As he looks back over 55 years of marriage, he's a long-haul winner. He's a tall man but as far back as memory carries me I see him bent low, humbly, quietly praying for us--true to God too.
How has his advice affected me? It's kept me true to a marriage for 23 years while friends of ours bailed out. It kept me mothering, wiping tears and bottoms, tripping over cars, hamsters and rabbits. Sure a nunnery looked appealing at times but Dad's voice echoed, "If you start a job. . ." In fact, my two brothers and I have grown into a fourth generation of 17 plodders--no divorce, drugs, rebels or quitters in our ancestry. Why? Because my eye was a more ready pupil than my ear. Good advice is often confusing but example is always clear. Dad didn't just point the way, he walked with us, giving us life then showing us how to live it!
He's my hero!"
~ ~ ~
It's a small vignette into who you are as Daddy. It bears repeating to others today who may not have had such a father. You still point a world to Christ. Your legacy lives on, not only in print, but in us, your children and grandchildren.
|Daddy with our baby, Katy.|
All My Love,
Kathy ~ ~ ~
Now to you, my dear reader, I leave another Father's Day message. If you were not blessed with a dad like mine, you still have One. He has something to tell you from the throne of heaven today too. Listen to your Abba Papa.