“Get up early and get there first, you’ll have the whole day ahead of you” echoes my dad’s voice of wisdom in my head.
Jumping out of bed this morning, I prepped two rooms in my house to keep my three cats out of the way of the guy doing some work in our basement. I proceeded to drive my car to the repair shop and got there before the “Open” sign was turned on in the window. I left it there to have them look at my brakes and rotate my tires. Living close enough to the repair shop, I took advantage of the beautiful sunny morning of my day off from work, and walked home. It felt good not to be one of the cars zooming by heading to work today.
I stopped into the coffee shop in my neighborhood and found out they do not carry dairy-free French Vanilla flavored creamer, so I made a stop to the corner grocer and picked out some decaf coffee beans, ground them, and grabbed a container of my dairy-free creamer. I brewed my own pot of coffee and sipped it while sharing my scrambled eggs with my cat, Mojo.
As I was walking around my house, tinkering around actually, I noticed a sqeak in my shoe. I paused and made that same step in my shoe and heard that squeak. I smiled as memories flooded my mind.
My dad never wore jeans; he said he didn’t like the feel of them. So he always wore black polyester pants, belted. When he worked around the house, tinkering around the house actually, he would wear the black pants that had paint drips on them along with a white T-shirt with slightly yellowed armpits despite my mom’s attempts to whiten them with her secret laundry powers. He also wore these beat up, old black slippers.
When I was very young, I thought the kitchen floor itself was squeaky because it sqeaked when dad walked through. The floor didn’t squeak when I walked the same path and I concluded it was because I was very thin and didn’t carry enough weight.
I remember when I was a few years older, I needed to get something from outside and I couldn’t find my shoes, but dad’s beat up, old black slippers were there at the ready. I slipped in them and headed out the door. Then I heard the familiar kitchen floor squeak, but I was out in the driveway. I would step a certain way and the slipper would squeak. I made a little song of it with my feet. It was fun.
So this morning, I heeded my dad’s advice and got a lot accomplished before 8:00am. And I squeaked my shoe in the kitchen and of course made a little song out of it. It was fun.
Happy early Father’s Day, dad. I love you and miss you dearly.
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”
I just returned from a business trip in Salt Lake City, Utah. This is what I noticed as I traveled alone in the airport.
Her giggles caught my attention as I ate my lunch in the food court. A metal railing corralled patrons systematically through the food ordering process, but to a 4-year-old girl, the railing was a jungle gym. I watched as her older brother joined in the fun and tried to teach her some new daring moves. They were having so much fun being kids while their father stood nearby waiting for their food order.
At one point, someone behind the counter turned on a blender and the noise startled the little girl. She covered her delicate ears and ran behind her father for protection.
Sitting on a tiny plane for the last leg of my journey, the woman sitting next to me was traveling home with her husband and their 17-year-old son. The airline made an error in ticketing this family and the son was on a different flight heading to their hometown while the parents were on my flight and planned to drive 45 miles to get home.
The son sent a text to his father alerting him that the airport changed the departure gate for his flight. He became lost in the large airport and feared that he’d miss the flight that was nearing take-off; just as our plane was about to shut the door for take-off. The father rushed off the plane to find his lost son.
When life turns on “the blender” and we get scared, we can stand behind Jesus anytime and He will protect us. Jesus told a parable about the shepherd who was missing one sheep. The shepherd left the flock to rescue the lost one.
Being a witness to two Bible stories in real-time made my trip a complete success.
John 14:27 (NIV)
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
“Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?
Your sparkling blue eyes and friendly smile always lit up a room.
Your strong hands built bikes, fixed everything broken, threw an awesome knuckle ball, and changed into the best back-scratcher ever.
Your character, integrity, and wit cannot be duplicated.
Your time, talents, and treasures you shared gave every indication that Jesus lived in your heart.
I love you and miss you Dad.
My Dad, 1927-2009
1 Timothy 5:4(NIV)
But if a widow has children or grandchildren, these should learn first of all to put their religion into practice by caring for their own family and so repaying their parents and grandparents, for this is pleasing to God.
Every summer weekend, during the first 12 years of my life, my family would pack our things in the car to head south. As my dad maticulously packed the car so everything would fit a family of 7, he’d yell out to my brothers and I, “Go get your Polish suitcase!” Yes, we had Polish suitcases…otherwise known as a brown grocery bag. My little clothes for two days fit perfectly in my Polish suitcase. This memory brings a grin to my face. I wonder, was this a well-known piece of luggage in other households or was this just my dad being his goofy self?
Twenty minutes later, we’d stick our heads out the car windows as my father slowed down so we could greet the cows in their native tongue, “Moooooo!!” Jostling side-by-side and to-and-fro we knew the dirt road we were on meant minutes to a fun-filled weekend at the cottage.
The best weekend for me was the end of June when aunts, uncles and cousins would arrive to celebrate my birthday. Our Polish heritage was in rare form. We had Polkas blaring from our portable radios during the Polka-Time radio show for 3 hours on Saturday afternoon. One adult would sneak away to the party-line telephone and call in a special request wishing me a very special birthday. It was such a treat to hear my name announced on the radio and a song played in my honor. I felt like a celebrity on my birthday.
I wish I could turn back the hands of time and spend one more birthday at the cottage with the family. The clang of horseshoes, water splashing in the lake and people baking in the sun…what a carefree life. The celebration was topped off with birthday cake made by the talented, loving hands of my mother. Always delicious.
My birthday is June 24. Although many of the family members that used to celebrate with me are in Heaven now, and the cottage has been sold many years ago, I will cherish these memories forever.
Psalm 146:2 (NIV)
I will praise the LORD all my life;
I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
It has been nearly two years since we last saw each other. From what Jesus said in the Bible, you are experiencing great weather, you are walking around, dancing, running, enjoying time with your family and friends, no tears, no fears, you are living in a mansion, you get to see Jesus face to face, and spend time praising God with all the angels and saints. You are living the life that was prepared for you.
Life has gone on since your departure. I cannot lie; I was really in a funk for the first year after you left. I attempted grad school, but I could not concentrate. My mind’s eye focused on your final years of suffering as your earthly body deteriorated from illness. Time heals, if you let it, and I let it work for me.
Last night, I was looking at pictures from our time together. Oh, how I miss visiting with you! I wish I could hear your voice and your laugh just once more. You had such a great demeanor. You took on your Heavenly Father’s characteristic of unconditional love. You followed His leading on how to be a great father to your children and a loving husband to your wife.
Thank you, Papason, for the life you gave me. Thank you for many, many great memories.
Happy Father’s day! I look forward to seeing you again. I hope my room in the Heavenly mansion is next to yours.
Deuteronomy 5:16 (NIV)
Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God has commanded you, so that you may live long and that it may go well with you in the land the LORD your God is giving you.