Wednesday, November 12

An Open Letter to my Dad

Hi Dad ~ 
I have been thinking about you today, on Remembrance Day, and I just saw that cousin Thomas Thomas (you great nephew) posted your war picture on Facebook.  I was struck once again with how handsome you were Dad.  No wonder Mom fell in love with you, although the way you tell the story, I think you were smitten first.  It is a great love story!  Today was a full day for me, and I think it is the first time in at least 40 years that I did not watch any tv shows in regards to Remembrance Day services.  I actually feel kinda guilty about that - in a weird way.  I always felt a reverence and I think that is why I loved watching the service on t.v.  It actually always made me think, and wonder what it was like - to sign up as a young man (barely a man) and leave your family and your home.  No doubt a sense of adventure in many respects, and yet a naive understanding perhaps of what you were signing up for.  You told me once that everyone wanted to fight for the King and the country.  You did.  The rest of your life, as I watched you walk with your telltale limp.  And as I (as a tiny little girl) sat on your lap and asked you about your shrapnel scars.  You never wanted to talk about it.  Mom said you woke up often in a sweet with a night terror about war.  I don't think we ever realized the toll it took on you in more ways than just the obvious of losing a leg.  In your later years, about 10 years before you went home to Heaven, you spent your time talking to kids in school auditoriums STRESSING to them the importance of PEACE and that WAR SHOULD NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN.  Your story is part of my story too ... thanks Dad for sharing your thoughts with us.

I have also thought a lot about you at the beginning of November, as the date rolled to the 2nd, I will never forget the afternoon that you ended up being taken to the hospital, and within a couple hours you had a massive heart attack.  I stood by you as you were having an episode, with my arms around you, trying to help you sit without slumping forward.  So scared.  And then, orphaned.  I miss you so much Dad.  17 years often seems like yesterday.... but often seems like forever.  You and Mom - I wish you were hear to talk to, to see what we are up to, and how God has blessed us and the ministry.
I think you would be proud, you always were.  You would be proud of your grand kids, and I know you would be here often - visiting, calling, praying.  You were an amazing set of parents, and as a dad I loved that you were not too proud to say you were wrong.  Which you knew you were sometimes.

I wish we had more time - I was only 39 and without parents.  But God knew when your time here was done, when your purpose was fulfilled, and God is sovereign.  I know I will see you again - and that you are enjoying my grandson Jay - your great grandson!  I just wanted to tell you again how much I loved you.  How much I learned about the attributes of God, by having you as a father.  You also prayed for me, and I was so blessed.  You and Mom were a force to be reckoned with.  I actually was told that an uncle thought that I got "the best qualities of each parent" to which I felt blessed.  

You taught me how one follows God with all their heart.  You taught me about following when the steps are unclear, and yet the call of God is on your life.  You did that with Faith Bible Camp ... you and I did that with Sugar-N-Spice Kiddie Haven ... I wished you could have heard about and seen this new adventure God called me and Alvin into.  I know you would bless us in it.  You always did bless us Dad.  I remember your encouragement to me when I was finding it hard to leave the church you raised me in, when I got married.  You told me to go and worship together, to get involved and to serve God and not look back!  That was some of the best advice you could have ever given.  I will never forget when you blessed Alvin and I BOTH (not just Alvin) as we were commissioned as a DEACON COUPLE.  I always think that you were much more progressive in church stuff, than some of the people realize.  I loved how you accepted people regardless of status ... how you invested in lives ... how generous you were.  

O Dad ... I miss you.  Seeing your picture on Tom's Facebook page reminded me again, just how much.  I wish you could read this letter.  But I know you are having the time of your life in heaven - walking and running with two strong legs.  And you wouldn't trade it in for anything.  So... until we meet again Dad, I just wanted to say thanks for being my dad - and I love you!


(dad would often call me Jo-gee)