a day with my dad.

i've never seen my dad in jeans.
and a tie only twice.

red suspenders?  every day.  with his too big khakis.

those were the good days.

the days he was able bodied.  the days he would get up alone early, put on his pants, suspenders and button down and start his day as a mechanic and farmer.  when i wasn't in school i would spend my days with him, we built a deck together after he drew out the blueprint of how to build it around our favorite tree, put in water lines together, gardened...time.  he gave me time.

i never felt like he was to busy for me.  he never told me "wait a little while jessica."  looking back and thinking about this post, i am awed just at how amazing of a man he really is.  i never once saw him loose his temper or fight with my mom.  and i always liked him.  even when liking your parents as a teen was not what you do.  

i always knew he loved jesus fervently.  and sought his will in absolutely everything he did and the choices he made for our family.  if he wasn't outside, he was inside reading his bible, often praying.  often, praying for me.  {the day i was born he started praying for the man i would marry. and every day he prayed for brad.  brad didn't know it.  and dad didn't know it.  but he was praying for him.  daily.}

now a days, those suspenders have been retired as well as my dad.  he has to have help getting to bed and getting out of bed the morning.  parkinson's disease has taken so much from him, his mind included.  he needs help doing absolutely everything.  from easy reminders of how to open a piece of candy to the ten minutes it takes to help him shuffle from the living room to the kitchen to eat lunch.

yesterday i had to sit with dad while mom was at her class reunion.  and i was scared.  and you know why?  because of the fear of having to take my own father to the bathroom paralyzed me.  i prayed i would have to work, and because i didn't it was my turn to stay with dad.  the weeks leading up to saturday, i was scared and thought about it a lot.

but you know what---about five minutes into being dads primary caregiver, i thought to myself "jessica, you are a freaking nanny.  this is what you do for a living.  buck up.  you got this."  and you know what?  i did.  i had it.

and you know what else?  dad and i had a wonderful time together.  we talked about laying that water line.  we talked about my grades in college (thanks dad), and we watched the tennessee game together where he was alert and asked the score and kept up with the game.  and even though he can't really make out the words any more in his bible, it is right beside his recliner along with his glasses.  and when he wants to he opens it up, i think he probably has the bible memorized so who cares if he's not reading.

and for lunch, before i could run into the living room to get any sort of camera to capture the moment,  he prayed a dad prayer.  clasped his hands together and uttered words that when i hear them i know it's a dad prayer.

and for those three minutes of that prayer, i was eleven and we had just taken a break for lunch from a long, hot day.  dad in his suspenders, with dirt all over and me in my pigtails talking too much and asking too many questions when he would say "jessica, it's time to pray."  and his rough hand would take my tender non calloused hand and in the beauty of the moment would tell jesus whatever was on his heart.

sometimes he forgot to bless the food.

and today, when brad and i pray, sometimes i do too.


Daydream Believer said...

This was so beautiful that it brought me to tears. Thank you for sharing it.

Kassi Mortensen said...

Aw friend. Loved this... I'm all teary eyed now thinking about being little and spending time with my own dad. Love to see the relationship you two have.

Cheryl cotterell said...

Wonderful memories :))) I remember him singing With your mom on stage and Steve goodman and another lady I can't remember who ... Beautiful worship time we all had:)) your parents are and always were wonderful special people... Bless u

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