Wednesday, April 23, 2014

T is for Tragedy

Continuing the A to Z Challenge, using "my daddy's words" as a theme, I continue here with a question that evokes both sadness and hope. 

The question put to my father is this:

Did a tragedy ever strike your family?  If so, how did it affect you?

When I was almost too young to remember, a baby sister was born, Delores Allene. She was a "blue baby" and lived about six weeks.  She weighed 2+ pounds at the time of her death. 

I remember very little about her, but her death had a profound impact on my parents.    They often talked about the intense loss they felt, the anguish of spirit, the fragility of life.  When Mom became very old and unable to remember recent happenings, she could still draw from memory the birth and death of Delores Allene.  She talked of wanting to go to Heaven to see her and be with her.  Dad sometimes referred to her coming, then going, in his sermons.  With others, I look forward to meeting the sister I never knew--someday in Heaven.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

S is for Starting a New Life Together

I appreciate the following words from my father  because they show a range of emotions that he felt on his wedding day.

Tell me about your wedding day.  What happened? How did you feel? Were you nervous, scared, happy? 

Our wedding day...was windy--not uncommon in Kansas.  The wedding came off smoothly and beautifully.   As a part of the ceremony we sang a duet "Seal us,  Oh Holy Spirit."  We had many emotions to deal with.  I had been offered a job [in] Maryland, and had negotiated a starting date after the wedding.  

The wedding marked not only the beginning of a life together, but it marked the saying of "goodbye" to friends, family, and other ties.  As we left the church, friends followed our soaped, tin-can-ridden '61 Dodge Lancer--all a-tootin'.  I was too successful in letting them chase--we lost them within five short minutes.  We then drove to Brenda's house, packed the car, said goodbye to tearful eyes, and set out for Maryland, our new home. 

Happy Birthday, Sweet Girl

My girl turned 25 years old today. She is our one and only daughter, surrounded by three brothers.

This is one of my favorite pictures ever of my sweet Sarah.

I'm blessed beyond words.  And that's saying a lot.  I thank God regularly for giving us such a priceless gift.

Monday, April 21, 2014

R is for Rendezvous

This is literally  the eleventh hour of the day where I sit, but I will squeeze out a blog post.  I was going to cop out and say "R is for Respite, which is what I am choosing to take today from the A to Z Challenge."   Too cheesy, huh?  I thought so.

Instead of quoting from my dad's journal, I just wanted to share one word that always, always, always makes me think of Daddy.

That word is rendezvous.

Daddy doesn't "meet up" with people.  No, he has to rendezvous.
Some folks say, "Okay, let's get together at five-thirty at such-and-such a place."
Not him.  He queries, "Shall we rendezvous at half past five?"

I teased him once that I was going to name a daughter Rhonda Voo.

If you have read my blog for any length of time, you know that I love French words.  I took French in high school and  college; I just love the language.  I think Daddy had something to do with it, because I remember asking him when I was very young, "What does rondeevoo mean, anyway?"

Daddy usually answers a  question with a question.  The quintessential socratic teacher. Often he just repeats your question back. "What does rendezvous mean?"

I remembered the definition he gave me as a little girl holding his hand:  "Rendezvous means to meet at a given time and place. It's a French word."  I  didn't know what "a given time" meant or that French was a foreign language. I just knew I liked learning grown-up words that Daddy used when most people used ordinary, child-size words around me.

I'm tempted to tell Daddy that, at his funeral, we might tweak the words to an old hymn just for him.

Shall we rendezvous at the river, the beautiful, the beautiful river? 
Rendezvous with the saints at the river that flows from the heart of God. 

I think he would chuckle on the way to that beautiful river.