Monday, June 20, 2011

To dad...

 (Thanks to mom for labeling photos and making family picture albums!)

Some of my earliest memories of dad...

...his letting me climb up onto the front bumper of our old road-stripe orange Suburban while he did mechanic-work on it. I'd have my tools - a screwdriver, usually, because naturally, they are required for most car repairs. I'd stand there by him and join him in his work, taking out screws and putting them back in, that is when I didn't lose them first.

I always got up early in the mornings and can remember finding dad seated on the carport with his Bible on his lap. He would welcome me and we'd talk and visit for awhile after that. Such a good thing to have stamped in my memory.

Whenever I rode with him in his early 70's royal blue Datsun, I'd put my hand under his on the gearshift and love the rumble, but the helping him drive part of it, that was the best.

 My childhood home. Love those azaleas and dogwoods. There's the old Datsun.

He made me take swim lessons. It was one of those tough love things, because I was terrified of the water and of the lessons themselves. Eventually, I became competent in the water, thanks to dad's forcing me to try the lessons again and again. One time, he promised a reward when my sister and I passed our classes. She wasn't nearly the scaredy cat I was, which made me a tad envious. But anyway, we did both pass that particular swim session, and so, after class that Saturday, he took us out to The Peking Restaurant. Eating out was treat enough, but The Peking! Chinese! This was big time. I'll never forget it. We sat in a red booth up near the front of the restaurant, by the windows.

Dad and mom were my Sunday school teachers when I was in kindergarten. Two memories stand out from those days. The first one is of a time I was bratty and pitched a tantrum, mostly, I think, because I wanted my parents all to myself. The second memory is of the time he was teaching us about Jacob. Dad came in dressed in his bathrobe, bare-legged and all, as I remember it, talked about Jacob in the wilderness and how he lay down with a stone under his head to sleep. Except dad didn't use a stone. It was some kind of flat toolbox he had, but we all pretended it was a rock, of course, and Dad laid down on the floor and went on to teach us about Jacob's amazing stairway to heaven dream.

 Visiting my newborn brother in the hospital. We were over the moon about having a brother!!

Mom and dad sacrificed a lot so that my sister and I could attend a Christian school when we were little girls. When I was in first grade, I got in trouble in class. Oh, yeah, big trouble. The teacher gave me a Conduct Sheet. Oh. Dear. My parents are going to make me move out! But they might spank me a lot before they kicked me out, I worried. With fear and trembling, I gave the conduct sheet to my parents, so they could know from the teacher's hand all about my offense. Dad looked it over. And sent me on my way. I guess he didn't feel that talking in class without raising my hand wasn't a red flag for future rebellion. Whew.

When I was in eighth grade, during my first year at public school, our whole history class was required to do a project that would be entered in the history fair. I had a passion for aviation and jets and such at the time, and so I chose to write about the history of flight. For my display, I constructed two airplane models, and it was dad who showed me how build and paint them. But that's not the best part of that memory...

 I was 15 here, sporting some really short hair!

I actually placed when it came time to give awards. It wasn't first place or anything, but how exciting to get a ribbon! And it meant I got to go to the next level. It ended up that I got to go to the state competition with my little project. It was decided that dad would take me to the state history fair, held down at our state capital city, and that we'd make an overnight of it. Oh, the thrill! That turned out to be a real adventure, especially when we left and drove a good bit of the two-hour trip without the research paper portion of my project. And I left my curling iron on, too. A 13 year old gal's gotta make sure the bangs are coiffed just so for these events. In the end, we had to find a pay phone, call our neighbors to break in through a window at our house, turn off the curling iron, grab the research paper and meet us halfway back. The project had to be set up by a certain time at the fair, so it was all very exciting and scary for me.

We made it in time and set up my project. That night we ate at Cracker Barrel, such a special memory. The next day we returned to the history fair and saw I'd earned an honorable mention for my efforts. But mostly, it was all a priceless memory made with my dad.

Dad holding LC as a newborn, July 2004, with EG right beside him.

I could go on and on with memories. I suppose I already have.

God gave me a dad who never knew his own dad. He gave me a dad who loves Jesus. He has always had such a tender heart toward his children: me, my sister close in age to me, and our younger brother. I love it that he always wanted us around, no matter what he was doing. And I am still amazed at the way he always treasured our little gifts and crafts made for him, and our silly plays, and the way he let us pull style his hair.

Dad treasures relationships and it shows in the way he lives in them. His heart is passionate for his family and for time spent together. Sometimes when I call or he calls me, he says, It's just good to hear your voice. Wow. And it's wonderful to hear you say that is what my heart says back. He and mom have been through so.very.much. these past few years. Truly God has allowed them to pass through the fire in many ways and in the end, dad has continued seeking God and has continued pursuing closer relationships with all of us.

Thank you, dad, for the way you've always loved us. It's a blessing to call you my friend - a true friend who knows my heart. Thank you for being faithful to Jesus, to mom, to your family. I love you.
And thank You, Father, that I've known the devoted love of an earthly father...

 Dad and me on Gotcha Day, May 4, 2011 at the courthouse together to finalize AH's adoption.


  1. So sweet and what great memories you two have!! Love the old pics!!

  2. A beautiful tribute about a sweet, Godly man! You are a blessed daughter.

  3. what a lovely, lovely post. What a blessing to have such a dad.