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Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Almost Father's Day

In some ways Father's Day covers several weeks for me, as I'm giving a sermon at our Methodist Church that day. My mind is working on ideas, seemingly all by itself. It is very interesting.

My thoughts also turn to my own father and who he was to me. He was a calm, quiet, kind, steadfast, loyal, busy, creative, super-honest man. I remember us going uptown to get something at the hardware store. When we got home, he said "Oh dear, they gave me 50 cents too much change." And we got in the car and went back to the store. He walked in and told them he got the wrong change. They immediately got defensive, saying you left the store, so too bad. Their mouths and eyes fell widely open when they heard my father protest that they had given him too much and handed them a 50 cent piece. He was scrupulously honest.

He encouraged me by often saying, "You can do anything you put your mind to." He had an amazing memory, even many years into his senior years still able to quote poetry he memorized in high school. He remembered his math too and was a huge help as I struggled with algebra and geometry. He helped me build my display for the science fair and helped me with the project. I was making cheese from raw milk. The teacher gave me the room key, and a couple of times in the middle of the night my daddy drove me to school and helped me with the pasteurization process of rising and falling of the temperature of the milk quickly. He built me a special desk and later the most amazing silk screening system. I often have a pang and wish that I still had that.

He was fiercely protective of my mother. I thought for many years he didn't protect me, but I suppose his protection from her and my grandmother was done quietly, behind closed doors. I did survive after all.

He was always active at church, and was church treasurer for many years. In the last decade or two he came to the conclusion that "this is the 7th day and God is resting." I think he had lived through so many terrible things, the only conclusion that God was not present to protect and guide him.

He never told me he loved me, but I'm certain he did. He came from a long gone generation. He was born in 1907 and passed on 1999. He really wanted to make it to the millennium to see what would happen, but his stroke was in November and he left a few days later. He is the only person with whom I have been close that never came to me after passing. He left and left quickly. I think he was totally done with this planet and its pain.

Wherever he is right now, I know God's Presence is there too, and Daddy knows this is not the 7th day actually. Thank You, God, for letting me be his daughter.

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