Sunday, May 4, 2008

Remembering Dad

(I'll share this at my dad's memorial service)

I remember my dad enjoying life. I remember him coming home from work at lunch time and announcing that he'd suddenly decided to take the afternoon off. Sometimes he spent those afternoons working in the yard, but other times we did fun things—like drive to Olympia to see the cherry trees in bloom around the Capitol.

My dad enjoyed food; he made the best sourdough pancakes, and once in awhile I could talk him into making biscuits for an evening snack.

Dessert was my dad's favorite food group. I remember my grandparents visiting our home when I was little, and my mother being appalled when my dad told me to greet Grandma with the words: “Did you bring a pie?”

My dad also taught me practical things. He opened a checking account for me when I was in fourth grade and he helped me balance it every month until I could do it myself.

Dad appreciated beauty—the beauty of nature as well as the beauty of fine china. Before he was married, he traveled across Canada several times, collecting Minton and Royal Albert for himself and for friends and relatives.

Dad had a talent for remembering dates—birth dates, death dates, and anniversaries. I remember him smiling across the breakfast table at my mom and reminding her that it was the anniversary of their first date. In fact, the day after Dad's death was the thirty-fifth anniversary of that first date.

You all know how much my dad loved music. It was his ministry, but it was also his stress relief; after a long day at the office, he'd come home and play through the hymnal for an hour.

Before my dad left for work each morning, Dad read a chapter of the Bible to Mom and I, and we would pray together. We each had a prayer list so that over the course of a week we prayed for all our friends and family.

My dad valued his family and his heritage. His pioneer grandfather told him that “a fool knows enough to carry an umbrella when it's raining, but a wise man takes his umbrella when the sun is shining.” I remember Dad walking to work every day, carrying his black umbrella—rain or shine.
Dad inherited a bit of the pioneer spirit from his grandparents. When homeschooling became legal in 1984, Dad saw this as our opportunity to to be pioneers, helping to secure this privilege for the next generation. I didn't know that this “next generation” my dad spoke of would be my own daughters.

My dad loved his grandchildren. Our oldest daughter was born at 3:05 on an October morning six years ago. My husband called my dad to tell him about the birth and to ask him to wait an hour before visiting us at the hospital. My dad walked through the door at exactly 4:05.

I'd like to pass on a bit of practical advice from my dad: when two desserts are offered, never make a choice between them—always have a bit of both.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Your post brought tears to my eyes. Your dad sounds like such a lovely human being and a wise and godly man who loved his family. How blessed you were to have such a father. You will see him again and your mom. Isn't that the best thing?

Praying for you.

Adriana (HP)