Father

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Here’s my Father with grandson Mark.  I love this picture of him.

Happy Fathers’ Day!-  I’m pretty sure there are plenty of you out there who are confident you had the best father on record.  I feel the same.  Who wouldn’t adore a father who would had a list of vacation rules including–“At least one ice cream a day!” or who built a fancy bright red play house in the backyard for his kids.

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Dad between his brother Jim and sister Mary Ann.  My parents, Lorraine and Carl on their wedding day in 1949.

My father passed on to heaven 13 years ago, but I still miss him all the time.  When he died, I sat down with a journal and began writing and writing all the best memories of my Dad– so I wouldn’t forget a thing.  Here’s twelve of my favorites:

#1.  Every single Sunday morning by Dad put on his Tennesee Ernie gospel songs and made French toast for us all before church while mom got 4 kids ready to go.

#2.  When our girls got 100% on their spelling tests they would call Grandpa Carl and he would drop them a note in the mail with a dollar bill –it would say someting like, “Gud werk on ur spilling!”

#3.  He planned the best vacations!  In the summer of 1964 we drove a circle around the U.S.A. in our trusty station wagon– For weeks ahead of time he’d sit on the side of our beds at night and we’d talk over the trip plans–all that fun anticipation!

#4.  He called me his “Rhonda-Bonga.”

#5.  All the years Larry & I lived in Spain, he mailed a weekly package with candy and magazines and secret code letters for our boys to figure out before the answer arrived in the next package.

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Dad–always willing to drive the church bus for any group who needed him– and on a trip he planned for our kids to San Diego.

#6. On my wedding day, when we woke up to rain, he promised it would be fair by the 4:00 wedding– and it was!

#7.  He took us all camping in Sequoia every summer and set his watch to “Pacific Sequoia Time”, so we’d all be in bed an hour earlier!

#8.  Once when I was in college and coming home late from work one night to retype a term paper, I found he had gotten my rough draft and typed it all up for me.

#9.  There would always be prayers and talks with Dad at bedtime.  Once after a tearful breakup with a boyfriend, he promised me ten new boys would ask me out by June!  (of course, that didn’t happen, but it made me feel much better).

#10.  He always called the grandkids to come over for a dinner of “dog food sandwiches.” One time visiting us, he even packed a dog food sandwich for Aaron’s lunch bag!

#11.  When I smashed the family car, 3 weeks after I got my license, he didn’t get angry– just said, “Well, everyone has to have their first car crash and now you’re done with yours!”

#12.  My Dad served other people in our church in so many ways– and had a deep love for God and his people that he passed on to his children.  That was the most precious gift he gave us.

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There was never a dad more full of fun and tenderness than our father.  He was the most selfless person I’ve known– visiting the sick, helping the older people in the church, walking the nursery kids out for ice cream, taking dozens of junior highers camping, teaching from the Bible…  At his funeral a blind friend told me my Dad would take him to the Dodger game and sit and explain what was happening play by play…  Through 25 years of cancer treatments, he kept on caring for people.  God used him to bless so many, especially his grateful kids.

Remembering my beloved Father today.

“…as a father deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God”                    —I Thessalonians 2:11&12

19 thoughts on “Father

  1. Hi Rhonda – What sweet, precious memories of your Daddy. I loved reading of all the fun adventures you had as a family and recognize you have many of the same qualities he did. Such a special tribute indeed!!

  2. Like Janet, tears filled my eyes that there ever was such a wonderful man! He’s part of the reason you’re such a wonderful woman. And I thank God for both of you.

  3. A beautiful tribute to a lovely man…what a legacy he left in your beautiful family. I remember him well from when we were children…seems almost like yesterday!

  4. He was definitely a great father, grandfather, father-in-law, and just an all around wonderful man! I only wish our youngest daughter, Michelle, had more time and memories of her Grandpa Carl, like our older girls do! Thankfully, a lot of these family traditions have been passed down through you and your siblings — his legacy! My husband Brad, is a “chip off of the old block”, and reminds me so much of your dad! Thank you for sharing your memories….priceless!

  5. I remember your dad with such fondness and honor his memory. So much that was creative and loving and brilliant and just plain fun about him is now carried on in you, your siblings, and the grandkids.

  6. Oh Rhonda. This is my first visit to your blog and I feel like I’ve stepped right into the depths of your heart. This made me cry. Your dad sounds like such an amazing man – generous, humorous, kind, thoughtful and strong (the kind of person that we all wish there were more of in the world). Your memory book is such a great idea. I wish I did the same thing for my grandparents when they passed away. I find myself searching for memories now. Thanks for sharing this with us. I am sure that your father was very proud of you (I love the verse also. I am a Christian and it’s so inspiring to hear about your father’s ministry. He’s what all of us should aspire to be) xx

  7. Rhonda, loved your memories, laughed and cried, then remembered my favorite quote from your dad, “we will have a prize worth $50,000.00 or less” at almost every junior high gathering.

  8. Dear Rhonda ~ I know that your Dad is beaming and ribbing Mary Ann about the goat he put in her backyard!!!! Thank you for sharing and allowing the rest of us to be blessed by his charming humor, zest for life and love for his family and friends!

  9. Rhonda-What a beautiful tribute to your father. I remember him fondly from KACC-even though I didn’t really know him, I knew he was always around the church doing something (as is your mother) How blessed you were to have him as your dad.

  10. I knew him, Rhonda, and I am so grateful for that. I remember how he helped shaped my heart for Jesus at such an early age. I am sitting her with tears in my eyes. What a fun, caring and Godly man he was!

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