“At My Father’s Table: My Favorite Memory of Dad” is also posted as a podcast here: Walking With Wendy
I have one especially fond memory of my dad that’s as close to me as ever. He wasn’t a bubbly and cuddly parent, but I don’t have any regrets about that because I’m grateful he was a gentle father. Not once did I fear he would suddenly lash out at me or raise his voice in a disconcerting decibel.
Dad was calm and kind.
He was the parent that tucked me into bed at night after he gave me a piggyback ride to my room. And if I went on a rant about something that was bothering me, he was the parent who just listened and teased a smile out of me as I witnessed the twinkle in his eyes and the uplifted corners of his mouth.
I felt accepted as I was—flaws and all.
He may not have told me he loved me while I was growing up, but he reached down and pulled my spirit up each time he smiled at me. His love was displayed rather than spoken. And my favorite memory of his love-in-action is also the memory that molded my love of books. Dad ordered the Dr. Seuss series through a mail-order club. When the first book arrived, he sat with me in my bedroom at my teeny-tiny wooden table and chair set and read The Cat in the Hat aloud.
The moment he opened that first book, he opened my ears and eyes to the wonderful world of fiction.
One day, about fifteen years later, I witnessed my father carry a book—that was anything but fiction—as he walked forward at a church revival meeting and publicly proclaimed his faith in Jesus Christ. For like me—like everyone—Dad was a sinner in need of a Savior.
And like me—like you—he had a Heavenly Father who loved him unconditionally.
The LORD is my strength and my song;
he has become my salvation.
Psalm 118:14 NIV
My dad had Bipolar I disorder. His mental illness may have been a severe one, but he never displayed severe anger or even a hint of abuse towards me in my childhood. My dad—like all of us sheep who have gone astray—was flawed, but the safety I felt in his presence was flawless. He reached down to me and never put me down.
He lifted me up so that, to this day, I admire and respect the role a good-willed father plays in the lives of his children.
God reached down to us through Jesus so that we would be lifted up too. God is a God of active love. He didn’t just say He loved us, He demonstrated it through the crucifixion and resurrection of His one and only Son.
One of my last memories of my dad also involved a book:
He died suddenly and unexpectedly in his suite due to—I suspect—the cumulative effects of years of medication and prior electroconvulsive treatments that also caused his Parkinsonism. Although his body became shaky, I discovered his heart and soul were steady; for when I walked into his kitchen, I noticed an open book lying on his table. As I drew closer, I saw his Bible and the assurance of salvation papers he had probably filled out on the evening of the revival meeting.
Even in his death, he managed to comfort me and point me to written words, a reminder I would see him again when we sat together at the longest and most loving table ever to be set for a family of people whose names are written in the Book of Life.
Our reunion will be a flawless and forever one.
Our Life Song:
Our Lord commences and completes
The words and notes of our song
Because He is our hope and strength
With love forever deep and long.
Flawless Blessings ~ Wendy <3
What’s your favorite memory of a father figure in your life? As always, I’m nosy-to-know.
Wendy’s Podcast Version of this Post: Walking With Wendy
Wendy’s HopeStreamRadio Podcast List: Walking With Hope