I have a wonderful Father. And he is still in my life in spite of the fact I am now 72. I DO know what a gift that is. Many never knew their Dads. Many lost their Dads long before my current age. And there are those whose Dads are still here physically, but who no longer recognize them. I don’t think it is common to still have your Dad in your life at my age. I am so thankful!
My Dad loved my Mom and all of us. He loves the Lord and was a great example (and still is) of what that means. It is true that he has always been kind and accepting of all people who cross his path. He sees the best in others and anticipates that, but he has never forgotten that we all need a Savior, and we have one in Jesus.
Dad will always be the example of a pastor to me. When he was pastoring his flock was always on his mind. If there was a need, a sadness, a disaster, he wanted to be there. I remember many funerals he had for strangers, often homeless people who no one claimed when they died. The funeral director knew Dad cared about them so he called Dad, who always said “Yes,” I remember Dad driving someone to work day after day because the man needed a job to support his family and his car had broken down.
I remember my Dad always took 10% out of whatever he made and gave it to the church. It was a priority for him.
Dad cared about his community. He was a very busy pastor with a LOT of kids and yet he once (at least) was the PTA president. He worked with Nathan Kaye on the (I think it was) bi-centenial celebration in Ashaway, and he loved that as history was one of Dad’s interests. Dad made it a point to meet with area pastors and worked on many ecumenical neighborhood worship services.
Dad has always been a good provider. He planted gardens wherever we lived and they were productive and well managed. When he, Mom and the younger kids moved to Denver he came up with a system to divert laundry water into his garden for irrigation. Dad was a consummate farmer and probably still would be if arthritis hadn’t curbed his activity.
Now Dad is nearing 99 and continues to convey grace and kindness to those he meets. He still finds joy in simple things, and he continues to look on the bright side of things and tell silly jokes, remembering the punch lines. And yes, he still draws and paints. God has been gracious and good to him and his children! I’m glad he is my father!