This past week my dad received the news that he would have to have a pacemaker procedure in the next four hours. He had just went in for an ordinary checkup and all of a sudden, his world was spinning out of control! My siblings and I were calm, until after he called each of us. He was calm but different with each of us. Yet each of us knew he loved us.
It was after his call to me, that I had panic set in. What if this was the last time I heard my dad’s voice? I called my baby sister immediately and asked her if she was going to be there for dad? She reassured me that she would be. After hanging up with her, I had the frustrated feelings of why did my family have to be so far apart?
I remember growing up when we had enough relatives surrounding us that it seemed like our own little town. We had around us, eight sets of aunts and uncles, two great grandparents, two great aunts, two sets of grandparents and over 14 cousins, and ten second cousins. Today we are apart in different directions and no relatives around any of us. I miss the days of family. It truly was a village that assisted in shaping and forming me into who I am today.
I began to reminisce about being my dad’s daughter. The memories of being little and his gentleness. When any of us kids were in trouble and there was a threat for a swat on the bottom by our dad, in the end he couldn’t bring himself to do it. The interesting thing about that was we didn’t want to get in trouble because we didn’t want to make him feel bad.
One of the best lessons my dad taught me was when I was learning how to drive. I had taken driving lessons and practiced upon permission at home. One day I decided that I really had to practice whether he was around or not. I thought to myself, 'If I practice I will take the pick up out to the field, put it back where he parked it and it will all be OK. Besides, I can’t get hurt out in a field, right?' So I was driving to the field and all of a sudden the pickup started to sink, yup that's right, to the point you couldn’t see the front wheels. I immediately panicked and shut the truck off, bailed out to investigate my dilemma. Lets just say there was no way I was going to return the pickup back to where my dad had parked it.
It just so happened that my uncle was out in the tractor, and I thought, 'Thank the Lord! He can help me get out before my dad comes back.' Wrong! The pick-up was NOT going to budge. That is when my dad drove up and asked what happened. Scared to death I confessed the truth, and he told me to go back to the house. I waited for him to come back and scold me. Instead he didn’t, he let me be. To be honest with you, that made it harder on me and I begin to feel bad about disappointing my dad. After some time passed, I mustered up some courage and asked dad what my punishment was. He replied back, “You have done enough punishing yourself, I love you and do not want you to punish yourself any longer!”
When I think back to my dad’s love for me it parallels to God the Father, in that even though I have failed, and I beat myself up, God the Father says confess your sins; You are loved; and you no longer have to punish yourself. You are forgiven.
My dad turned out OK after his whirlwind surgery and has more tests to go. In the meantime, I am determined to figure out how we can all see each other more often in spite of the distance!
I love my dad. Thank you Lord for blessing me with him!