Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's a star that still burns.

Many years ago, my dad flipped over a paper placemat in a restaurant and wrote me a letter on the back. I won't share all of it because it is personal, but the following words tell a lot about the patriarch of the family.

"You were a perfect baby, 
a terrible teen, a promising star, 
blossoming out beyond braided hair
and your 'very own' bedroom.

...You have become better. May I say that to you, with grace? Your impatience has mellowed, and so has mine. Mutual treasure.

Your star is burning ever brighter,
while ours is burning out.
That is the way of stars, you know.

...My advice is free, but valuable.
Don't be hung up with other's success.

...Rejoice in the small things.
Take time for laughter, and so-called 'little' 
people. Take time to love & be loved.

Your Dad"

Recently, I read a line in Ann Voskamp's One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are that froze me in place and instantly made me think of my dad. She quoted Martin Luther, who once said: "If you want to change the world, pick up your pen."

Dad, as you end your career...your years of study and preparation and sermons and planning and elders' meetings and work parties and moves and marriage ceremonies and youth rallies and funerals...let me be the first in line to thank you. Thank you for leading us on adventures in New England and Pennsylvania and Texas...for canoes and cameras and shotguns...for hikes and hunts and museums and darkrooms that smelled like vinegar.

For loving our mother.
For picking up your pen and changing the world. 
Dad, with his own dad. (1947)


Tammy M. said...

Such a beautiful post. Thank you for sharing your dad's words and your thoughts. A true blessing.

Miss McCrary said...

Tears in my eyes! A beautiful tribute to a wonderful father!

Anonymous said...

What daughter saves paper placemats with a Dad's weary thoughts? Only you, Miss Fondle, you no doubt filed it under "D" for Dad. I was so surprised to see those remarks again, but delighted to see them once more, on that special Day.

Fathers do not 'succeed' by themselves, do they? Daughters hold their Dads' hearts in their little fists, then their stamping feet, and finally, in their adventuresome soul in a dangerous world. It causes Dads to lose sleep, and toss and turn in their reflective moments. Did we do right...counsel them correctly? Overreact? Should we have had children at all? Who felt themselves so qualified, to raise girls?

Yet, I was twice blessed, and I am ratified when my daughter writes such lovely things about her childhood, and that rascallion who was her Dad.

Boys seem to be much easier to raise and launch, like a torpedo, into the maelstrom of life. The Father above saw that I had both.

How do I thank you, Sweetie, for your love? I cannot do so adequately, but humbly, say...

Thank You, with all my heart.