Today we have some guest bloggers:
My favorite childhood memory of dad would be traveling through Florida and stopping to get all you can eat boiled shrimp.
In more recent years , I roomed with mom and dad during a cruise. Mom and I could always find dad by simply going to the nearest soft serve ice cream machine, now that’s a good memory.
I also was able to spend time with dad when he had his recent surgeries. A few days after his first surgery we sat in his hospital room along with mom and talked about the all that had happened over the last few days. Comparing his anesthesia influenced version to our non-medicated account we laughed a lot. Over those weeks of surgeries, therapy and lots of waiting I saw his determination to recover. Even during the set backs he would stay focused on the goals he had set and continue to work hard mentally and physically.
In all my life I have never seen him let any physical barrier stop him from achieving his goals. He is one of a kind and I’m blessed to be his daughter.
A year and a half ago, after Dad’s two spinal surgeries, Stephanie and I were able to take Thanksgiving dinner to Mom & Dad in his room at the rehabilitation facility.
A few days before Thanksgiving, I told him that for
some reason, we had ended up with 2 turkeys in the freezer. His response was, “Well, let’s find someone who is in need that doesn’t have one, and we can give it to them.”
A couple of weeks later, my band and I had a concert to raise money and collect toys for a local police department that helps 500 – 600 kids every year at Christmas. We’ve done this concert for several years, and Dad has been at almost every one to read the Christmas story. He was disappointed that he wouldn’t be able to attend that year.
As I left his room that day to go to the concert, he said, “Let me know how much money is raised for the kids, then whatever the total is, I want to add to it.”
For over 2 months, Dad had not been able to work, resulting in no regular income…he had literally been on his back in a hospital bed for weeks. He was missing home, family, and friends on Thanksgiving and Christmas, and yet, his thoughts were of helping others.
That is who Dad is…that is the kind of person I want to be.
On Father’s Day, I will share a very special memory. 28 years ago I became pregnant out of wedlock. Being raised in a Christian home, this was not only embarrassing, I felt deep shame and conviction that I had sinned.
As we began plans to move up our wedding date, I knew I had to tell my family. I told mom, but, I could not bring myself to tell dad. That was too much.
Then my dad simply walked into my workplace one day and said “is their something you need to tell me?”
I’ve never thanked him for that moment, heck, he may not even remember the details, but it was one of the touchstone moments of my life. In those 8 words, and in the outpouring of love and lack of judgement, Dad modeled to me the love of God. There was no condemnation, only love. Perfect love casts out all fear.
My faith today is thanks to the faith of my parents and my grandparents. My driving desire to live Christ’s version of radical love was taught to me by my dad in the spring of 1990.
In all of my years, I have never seen mom or dad turn their back on anyone. We have had many holiday meals with people at the table who came into our lives for maybe that one day and others who came to stay as part of our family.
They simply love people and I see that example now in the lives of my siblings, their spouses, children and grandchildren.
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16
From all of us, we love you, dad.
(Note, Kathy Mason Walton works grueling shifts in the medical field, she was not able to send her message. Will come back and edit that one in when she is free).