Tomorrow is Father’s Day, and I’ve been thinking about my Dad.

My dad lived by this verse…

Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.  1 Corinthians 4:2

My Dad always endeavored to be faithful – as a child/servant of God, a husband, a father, a grandfather, a friend, a pastor.  He would say that he was not always so, but that was his desire.

People remember him that way.  People tell me how they admired him and loved him for being faithful.  I love that too.  I miss more than that.

I miss the smell of Pepsi and pretzels on his breath when he would come up to kiss me good night.

I miss the sound of his voice singing, “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me bless His Holy name…” as he walked through the office, the house, a parking lot, a hardware store, a campsite…

I miss the man who carried me back to bed after I’d had a bad dream- knees creaking, banging into the walls in his own sleep dazed state.

I miss the man who taught me to drive on Grandpa’s farm in the desert.

I miss the man who always made sure I had a dime for a phone call when I left the house; who punished me for fighting with my sister; who was at every high school waterski trip, and who taught most of my friends to ski.

I miss the man who sometimes lost his temper; who left me notes and told me he loved me; who gave me wise counsel that I didn’t always follow.

I miss him.  And while missing him is not as gut-wrenching as it used to be, I will always miss him – until we are together again in eternity.  So for now I smile and cry and laugh when I think of him.  I am profoundly grateful for my Dad.

When he died, his grandchildren said things like this – things that make me cry and smile now:

“You would give me a hug, a kiss on the top of my head, and ask me how I was almost every time I saw you.”

“… spending Christmas day together, reading the Christmas story, opening gifts and eating all day… I really liked it that he came to lots of my games… I always knew that he loved me and was always willing to help me if I needed it.”

“I will remember you always smelled like sunscreen and chapstick.”

“The way he always used to hum.”

“The way I was the only one special while talking to him.”

“… Called me Fred…liked to sleep in the hammock… liked to hug… He loved me.”

“He liked to call me his little red headed girl. He loved to give me big hugs…”

“He liked to hug me.  He liked to hold me…He loves me.”

The night before he died he brought his new boat over to the house where I was living (where my parents were planning to move soon).  After getting the boat parked and the canopy set up over it just right he told me, “Kathi, I love you more than I love my boat, so I’d hate to have to kill you if you back your car into it.”   I miss that man… the man who made me laugh.

All of my life, my Daddy prayed, “Dear Jesus, help Kathi to know how much you love her.”

I am thankful for my Dad, who faithfully mirrored for me the love of God.

Tomorrow is Father’s Day.  For me, it will always be about him.

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