Christmas Eve, I had my camera in my hand and I noticed that Dad was doing what had become a habit since I was a wee-little girl.  He was reading his bible.  Complete with his glasses lowered so low on his nose that they continually fell off, even though they were just right and his hands turning every page, often times tearing out page after page of his worn bible.  I stopped what I was doing and just watched him and something told me I would want that picture.  The picture of his hands, rough and calloused from always working with his hands, building, inventing, gardening and turning pages of the bible that he had memorized.

When I visited with him a few weeks ago, he asked me to get his bible, so I did, and then got his glasses adjusted just so, and sat the bible in his lap.  Southern gospel music blaring in the background and often a "that's a good one, Jessica, turn it up."  "Dad, it's pretty loud."  "Turn it up, Jessica."  "Yes, sir." "you know this one? he'd say.  it's a good one." patting his foot to the perfect rhythm all the while.  "Will you find Romans 5 for me?" So, I found Romans 5 for him, and said, "here dad, you want me to read it to you" and he said gently "no" and then began to quote:
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into his grace which we now stand,  And we boast in the hope and the glory of God...
That was the last time I saw my sweet daddy alive.  That was the last day I conversed with him and talked to him.  We talked about where I could get some old barn wood.  He asked me why I wanted some and I told him that I wanted to make a headboard.  "In a little while we will go out there and look in the barn, I can make you a headboard."  His nature was a servant.  Even when his legs were failing him, and his memory was almost gone, it was natural for him to say, "I can make you that headboard..."  and it was in my nature to say, "okay, daddy"

You are never old enough to loose a parent, one of my friends said this week and that is so true.  Today as I sat and ate lunch, and while I was waiting for it to cook I grabbed a pickle and I thought about how dad loved anything that was pickled, eggs, beets, cucumbers, if it was sour, he liked it.  And then as i ate my turkey burger that had more cayenne pepper on it than should be aloud I thought about him again, he liked it spicy and his food hot. I am my fathers daughter.

I have told several friends this week it is such an odd feeling, I know God has always heard my prayers but now I feel like he is really tuned in, like when I pray dad nudges Jesus and says, "that's my girl, you listening?" 

I'm so proud that he was my dad.  I am so proud that his blood runs through my veins and that his legacy is the one that I get to live out.

That last day I sat with dad and saw him, he gave me this gem that I will have for as long as I live.  His gospel music channel blaring and in the midst of that four part harmony that he loved so much a gentle el shaddai by Amy Grant came on and my dad started lifting his hands and saying every word.  And with tears falling fast as they have ever fallen onto my lap, with my hand as steady as I could keep it, I recorded dad being dad, worshipping the Lord.

I don't have to tell you to rest in peace, daddy...because you are dancing, you are walking, you are talking loudly and your body is finally whole.

Dance, Walk and Talk in peace, Daddy.  I love you.

1 comment:

Amanda said...

I am so, so sorry for your loss. I know, based on what you've shared with us over the last year or so, that your dad was amazing.

And what an absolute treasure that video is. Take care, friend. <3

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