Leading quiet devotions, coming in from chores at the barn, watching a hockey game on television and sitting at the kitchen table are some of the instantly recalled memories of my father. In my mind’s eye I can see these things at will. His handsome face, big lovely smile, gentle eyes and still wavy but receding hair gave him a country gentleman’s appearance. He was six-foot, broad shouldered ,sturdy with strong hands. His knuckles on his one hand had been broken in some farm mishap years ago.
His dear heart had suffered damage from scarlet fever when he was a hardworking farm lad in his early teens. His mother had died when he was about sixteen . His older brother went off to work in the city. His younger sister taught highschool locally, then married and moved far away. Dad stayed on the farm working with his father but if he had gone on to school he would have been a thoughtful scholar, most likely a minister or teacher.
At a young age my Dad married my pretty and spirited Mom and together they bought a farm of their own. Hardworking, resourceful and steadfast they did their very best to raise their family of five children. Through all that life sent their way they relied on each other and had the best kind of love. My dear Dad died of heart trouble when he was just sixty years old. I was only eighteen when he died. Just like that, in a moment, he was gone.
Yesterday was Father’s Day and I spent the morning remembering Dad as he stood at the front of our church leading a quiet devotion years ago. In the evening I was invited to my sister’s home , at my parent’s old farm and enjoyed a wonderful meal looking out to familiar fields and wood lot. Looking out on this scene , thoughts of my Dad once more brought back his love and legacy. His wisdom, gentleness and kindness have never left us.