MY DAD

The following was my “Preacher’s Pen” column in our church newsletter December 8, 1993. It is included in chapter 12 (Preacher’s Pen Columns) of my book A Pastor and the People: An inside Look through Letters. I share it in this week’s blog post as I come to the 22nd anniversary of my dad’s death.

My dad died last night.  It wasn’t unexpected, we knew it was coming; but the phone call and the news still had a significant impact upon me.  As much as you can think ahead and prepare for the inevitable, you can’t face it until it comes.

Dad had been ill for over a year with leukemia.  When he took a turn for the worse in October Jan and I went to visit him.  Although he was weak, we had a good visit.  I asked him about his readiness to go and his confidence in the Lord and he assured me he knew where he was going.  When I left I told him that although I probably wouldn’t see him again in this life, we would see one another in the next life.  He again assured me he knew that was true.

Over the last five weeks I have called home regularly, but because of his condition only spoke with him three or four times.  We last talked Sunday afternoon.  Since our family was planning to visit over the holidays, I asked him if he was going to make it until then.  He said yes, and although we both knew it might not happen, we affirmed we were looking forward to seeing one another then.  There won’t be a visit later this month like we planned, but the plans we made in October are still in place.

The truth is that my dad and I weren’t really that close.  Because of his drinking we weren’t close during my formative years and when he gave that up and committed himself to the Lord I was already a teenager.  For the past 20 years we have lived so far apart that visits were only once or twice a year.

My dad was a trophy of God’s grace.  A trophy is not valuable for what it is, but because of what it represents.  My dad was an example of what God can do in and for a person.  His life, his marriage, and his family were all transformed by God’s grace.

Even though we weren’t that close, there are two extremely important things I know about my dad:  he loved me and he was proud of me.  One of the most gratifying events in my life was when he had the prayer for me when I was ordained as a minister.  I’m pretty sure my dad knew I loved him, but I doubt he knew I was proud of him.  I was, and I am.

Feel free to comment below and to share this post.

Photo: My dad with our daughter and son/his grandchildren a few years before he became ill.

 

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16 thoughts on “MY DAD

  1. Bob, Great story.  I was 38 years old before I really felt very close to my father.. After I made a mayor step toward him it all changed..someday I’ll have to tell you the story

    Barry

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    Thursday, December 3, 2015, 7:11 AM +0000 from comment-reply@wordpress.com : >bobmmink posted: “The following was my “Preacher’s Pen” column in our church newsletter December 8, 1993. It is included in chapter 12 (Preacher’s Pen Columns) of my book A Pastor and the People: An inside Look through Letters. I share it in this week’s blog post as I come” >

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  2. Dear Bob,

    Nice write up. My Dad died 13 years ago Nov. 30. He died unexpectedly and we do not know the cause, as no autopsy was done. He was 72. It hit me pretty hard when Mom called to let me know. I was emotional during the viewing and funeral. We greeted about 700 people and had about 300 at the celebration of life. Had to have it at a larger church because Centenary Methodist church in Granville , Ohio was not big enough. I sometimes wonder if I grieved right. It was short lived. God ,was my comfort. Dad and I were close but not to close. We had no unanswered questions or qualms. We had a good understanding and a good Father/Son relationship. I think the one’s who grieve the hardest have issues that are unresolved between parent and child. Guilt and questions that have not been addressed in the relationship. When it is to late to get the answers is the problem. Of course some people are very close to Mom or Dad and that causes hard grieving. Dad believed in God but did not attend church. I knew of some of his escapades as a man. He was a good farmer, substitute mail carrier, then a MGR for Columbus Production Credit Asso. Loaning money to farmers. He was old school.The farmer would walk in, Dad would say how much do you need , give it to them and, have them sign and take care of the paper work, and be on their way. Then the new college bankers started to come in and did not like that way, and let him go. Mom is doing great, started going to and very active our church there in Granville. Leads a exercise group, plays games and eats out a lot. I have my 2 brothers and sister and their family’s (13 grand children and 16 great grandchildren) to keep her on the go. She is our rock and what keeps our family close. We all have a good relationship. Thanks be to God. Thank for sparking some thoughts ad feelings about my Dad. God Bless you. Miss you. Sincerely, Phil

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  3. In all the years I have known you, Bob, I don’t remember ever reading this. I believe no matter how close we are to a parent there is something sobering in knowing they are gone. I was touched by your words and reminded of my feelings when first my dad, and later my mom, left this earth. As you said, I will see them again. I rejoice in that. I love you and miss you. ~Joni

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  4. Even though death is not easy and always has an impact, you are blessed to know you will see him again in our permanent home. Hugs and Love to you and your family during this “Christ”mas season.

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  5. Bobby I read this letter again and I still cried. I can relate to a lot of what you wrote but by the grace of God my daddy and I had enough time to develop a close loving relationship before he died. Drinking can change the entire family dynamics as we both know. Fortunately both our fathers had a relationship with our Savior before passing. I too look forward to reuniting with my earthly father again because of the grace and mercy of our Heavenly Father. Thanks for telling me about your blog last night. I look forward to your next entry! Love ya!!!

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  6. I think so many of us had relationships with our fathers like you. . I don’t think fathers were as involved in their children’s lives like they are now. My father also drank. He spent many hours with his cronies. Like you I always knew he loved me and I adored him. And my father had a great faith in the Lord. Even though my family didn’t attend church, he knew it was important to me and dropped me off every Sunday evening to attend youth group and then evening services. Unfortunately my dad died when I was 25 so we never had what I consider an adult relationship.

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