Monday, April 28, 2008

The Aftermath...And Thoughts On Dad # 6

My arms are a little bit sore. After school, I went and took my Hepatitis A and B shots for my trip in July to China. Dad was so excited about this opportunity the Lord has blessed me with. I know he loved it when any of us did mission work. (Ben is leaving shortly to spend six weeks in Zambia with Meagan!) Dad and Mom were wonderful examples of going to foreign shores to do the will of God. Thanks to all of you who have encouraged me to continue for the time being to think out loud. This is good for me.
Did you know Dad almost burned down Nebraska Youth Camp (Trail Junction) one summer? Shortly before Dad died, Larry Nossaman and his family visited him and Larry started singing the song the campers made up, There'll Be A Hot Time In The Old Camp Tonight (FIRE! FIRE! FIRE!) Dad and Mrs. O'Leary! We were so touched that Larry and his wife, Susan, drove two hours just to see Dad for about one minute to say good-bye. The Nossamans were great friends of ours in York.Dad's oldest possession was a little yellow lemon Christmas tree ornament. It was so frail it was translucent. It reminded Dad of his childhood. I think I will miss him most at Christmas. He lovcd real trees and tradition. Dad promised with all the chaos of this past Christmas, that next Christmas would be extra special. I hope we can make that come true.
Dad broke his leg when I was a sophomore in high school. The broken leg grew longer than the other one!I have a new pen pal today! Chloe is the daughter of Steve and Dixie, two of my folks' closest friends. Dad always thought Chloe was special and I see why. Dixie showered us with food during the last week we were in St. Louis. Chloe came along and we struck up a friendship. I gave her one of Dad's prize books...and she loves it! Chloe is only in kindergarten but I predict we will have some great e-mail conversations. Praise God for all the parents like Dixie and Steve who raise their children in the ways of the Lord.I received a new book in the mail today and I don't know who sent it. (I suspect Karen.) It is entitled Twelve Ordinary Men, and it is an in-depth look at the apostles. I started reading it the nights I spent in the hospital with Dad. I never was able to finish it and I was using Karen's copy. Dad loved the Scriptures and the Gospels most of all.The Lord answered prayers when he roomed Steele Glenn and Dad together at Surrey Place. They had known each other before but shared suffering draws people even closer. Steele helped Dad through the loneliness of a long stint in rehabilitation.
Dad once organized a track meet for us out on the farm. Dr. Jim White- Jimmy at the time- remembers he was so excited he could not sleep the night before. We even had blue ribbons! It's amazing how a cow pasture could pass for an Olympic stadium!
My favorite food Dad ever cooked was French Puffs. He made them for his college classes at York and Lubbock. They were sweet muffins whose tops were soaked in butter/sugar/cinnamon. Unbelievably good!

I regret I was not more empathetic towards Dad (and Uncle Monroe) when their parents died. I was off in college and in my own little world. I now know how much it hurt.
A number of you keep calling to hear Dad's voice so I will keep listing the number. No telemarketers, please! 713-772-2142

God bless,
Luke 18:1

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Family fun said...

I found that book (12 ordinary men) a while back and sent it to all of our sons - including our son-in-law. Our youngest two are living the life, allowing God to make something wonderful of ordinary! Our middle son is disabled and yet is allowing God to shape his life to be a servant and hopes to be a missionary in his wife's country (China) in the coming years. Our son-in-law has a long way to come but we keep praying that he will allow God to make him the father and husband he needs to be. Our oldest son has a lot of hurt to overcome, if he reads the book, I'm sure he'll see that some of the apostles also had hurts and life struggles to repair. I'm sure you'll enjoy the book!

I'm sorry to hear that you didn't understand the grief that Roger and Monroe felt when their parents died! I know I'm unusual in that for some reason God touched my heart when I was very young and allowed me to have a lot of empathy for people in situations I've never walked through. No bragging - but praise that God has given me this gift.

-Lane said...

12 Ordinary Men is a great read, and I've used it in teaching many classes. I recommend trying to find it somewhere to finish it.

I didn't know your father, but I've enjoyed reading these past few days. I feel like I knew him now.