Sunday, June 19, 2016

Finding My Dad on Memory Lane

Late last night I pulled out a box of old photographs and sat down to see if I could find some that included my dad.  

I did.  :)

Oh, the power of a picture!  These--and many others that I looked at last night--instantly transported me back through time, reminding me of so much more than what appears in the photo.  I remembered conversations, and activities, and most of all, emotions.  I think, more than anything, the ability of a photo to make me once again feel what I was feeling when the shutter clicked is why I treasure pictures so much!

If I had chosen a different box of pictures, I would have come up with different pictures of my dad; but I happened to choose the one that includes pictures from my college years, which includes the summer of '95 when my parents and my brother David took me to the tiny little town of Speculator, New York, and dropped me off to work for the summer on the music staff of Camp-of-the-Woods.  This was the cabin where I stayed (and also the cabin where I got into my bed one night and discovered that I wasn't alone...a chipmunk was there, too, leading to my sound-barrier-breaking departure from the bed!).  ;-)
 By the time the next summer rolled around, I had met Jeff while a student in Israel; and my parents, sensing that this semester abroad "fling" might have more to it than a temporary romance, invited Jeff to come to Virginia to meet the family.  During that trip, we also went up to Pennsylvania and saw my brother David and Lori, the girl he was dating at the time and has now been married to for almost 19 years... well as Lori's parents and sister Lisa.
 And then we went on to Camp-of-the-Woods and spent a wonderful week there together.
 Dad and Jeff bonded over some games of chess.  :)
 My parents cuddled...
 ...and kissed...
 ...and Jeff and I were feeling confident enough in our relationship to do a little of the same.  *gasp!*  We were just following my parents' example!!!  ;-)
 Later that summer, Dad brought home some roses for his lovely bride... whom he had been married for 33 years.  Keepin' the romance alive!  :)
It's been said that "the greatest thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother."  I say that my dad is a stunning example of this.  Through thick and thin, for better for worse, in sickness and in health, even enduring through the ravages of Alzheimer's Disease, Dad's faithful love for his wife shines brightly in a world where "til death do us part" so quickly turns into "til I get tired of you and want out."  I have thanked God many times--and will continue to do so--for the example my parents set of a loving, God-honoring, committed marriage.

But besides that, my dad did--and does--many other things for his children.  As we sat around the kitchen table after lunch today, I was mindful again of the privilege of living close to my parents and having the gift of time--lots and lots of time--together during this season of life.  Listening to Dad tell a story from the early years of his medical practice (about a woman who came to his office one evening to be seen; she was pregnant, and when he examined her, he discovered that she was 10 centimeters dilated, so he drove her, along with one of his nurses, to the hospital, and when they pulled up to the door, he hopped out and got a stretcher and took the patient into the hospital, leaving his nurse--who didn't know how to drive a stick shift--to drive his car--which was a stick shift, of course--to the proper place for parking! the woman's water broke in the elevator and the baby was born soon after, and then Dad came back to his office to see the rest of his patients!) reminded me of the wealth of life experiences he has had and the joy of hearing him share the things that have happened to him.

Today was a chance to do what I should do more often: pause to express appreciation to someone who has been a rock for me, a steady influence during all the ups and downs and comings and goings of my 40 years of life!

Happy Father's Day, Dad!  You are deeply loved!!!  :)


bekahcubed said...

What precious memories! I especially loved the picture of your parents cuddling. It truly is a blessed thing to have parents who love one another.

sally said...

This was so sweet to read, and I loved seeing the pictures. You're just like your parents----wonderful!