Sunday, June 19, 2011

Dad's watching

My dad Herman passed away in November 1993 of inoperable brain cancer, seven weeks after his diagnosis; the progression of the cancer was mercifully quick - for his sake.   

He was a wonderful man, a man's man, yet with such a tender and gentle spirit.  I've spoken of him before on this blog.  

Christmas 1993 was a very difficult one.  I remember our children were four and one.  Our oldest had practiced "Away in a Manger" and knew all the words to all the verses.  I took my guitar with me as we went to Mom's Christmas Eve (back then we still called it Mom and Dad's, it was so fresh).  And Christmas morning after Mom read the Christmas story, our little girl sang her song.  There wasn't a dry adult eye in the room.  Not one.

When someone could speak at all it was Mom.  "Oh, Herman would have loved that!  if only could only have heard it!"  

Source through Google Images:
I smiled.  "He did, Mom.  He did."

The Bible talks about a "great cloud of witnesses" made up of ordinary people who believed God and took Him at His word.  It says that these witnesses are cheering us on as we live our lives, make the right choices, succeed at being ourselves for God.

Time and time again I've felt Dad's attention and approval, heard his chuckle as one of the kids does or says something they couldn't possibly know he did or said, yet it happened anyway.  

And today, as I stood in church and sang in tight three-part harmony with a couple of other people, I felt that same presence, that thrill he felt when the music was just right and blended so crisply that his eyes would close as if to shut himself in with that experience.  In that moment, I understood that he still listens to me sing - that even though he is in paradise, he still leans in, closes his eyes and pays attention when I sing with my brother or with others who have the same blend of voices that I and my two brothers (one of whom has passed on now) had when we sang together.  It was a poignant moment - full of significance for me.  This was a legacy that he passed on to us, something he shares with us. 

Happy Father's Day, Dad.  I love you so much!  See you later... 

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