5 things I’m keeping

“What do you want of Daddy’s?”

I want his inquisitive mind.
His compassion on widows and orphans. 
His commitment to godly values.
His integrity in all things.   
His fiery passion.

But among tangibles, these are five things I’m keeping so far…

1. His songbookDaddy's songbook One of his passions was leading singing. He led with pep and volume and clear leadership.

When our old church got new hymnals way back when, the elders gave my daddy a leather-bound copy to lead with. He spent many hours with it, picking out new melodies on the piano at home, and choosing just the right songs to lead for church services or funerals.

2. His bible
My baby sister gets first pick among our father’s bibles because she asked first, but I want second pick. Daddy highlighted verses, wrote questions in the margins, and scribbled notes in the back.

He was as meticulous a Bible student as anyone I’ve known. I learned a lot from him, and I want to keep learning.

3. His commentary on Romans
So to keep learning, I’m going to make time to read what he wrote the last year of his life: a commentary on the book of Romans. We always knew he should write a book, and I’m glad he finally put his thoughts on paper.

I regret that I didn’t read it earlier when I could have discussed it with him here. But I can always ask him about it later.

4.His church bulletinchurch_bulletin
I walked into his basement office on Wednesday. It flooded me with remembrances of him. Books, commentaries, clearly-labeled folders, notepads—everywhere. But neatly laid everywhere. This church bulletin lay on top of one pile. It was probably from one of the last times he made it to Sunday services.

And it was so clearly Daddy. In the margins of the sermon outline, he scrawled in his own notes and questions and scriptures. I’ve put it in my own Bible, to remind me to do the samealways thirst for Truth; always thirst for Jesus himself, not another man’s interpretation of Jesus.

5. His stories
Last night at his memorial service, I met several new people I never knew he knew. Co-workers from 20, 30 years ago from NASA who came back to tell us they loved working with him. Men who said he was one of the top influences in their lives. Ladies that he and my mom met in the neighborhood on their daily morning walks down Hughes Road. Young people he encouraged verbally and financially.

I can’t keep the people with me, but I can replay the stories and re-read the cards they sent him and my mom while he was sick, and that they’re still sending since his death.

And I can keep the words written to me from my own dear friends, some who knew him, and some who didn’t, but who know him now through the legacy he’s left in my own life.

* * *

When I was growing up, I thought every daddy was like mine.

But the older I got, the more I learned it wasn’t so. At times I didn’t appreciate the difference—Daddy could be opinionated, stubborn, and outspoken. But used for God, those traits made him into the influential man he was.

Why me? Why was I one of the blessed ones to have a great father? I don’t know. Only by God’s grace. A grace that I can keep in my heart forever.

* * *

20 comments:

Laurie M. said...

I'm so happy you have these keepsakes...but best of all, you have the legacy of a loving Father who led the way for you to know your Heavenly Father. You are truly blessed.

Jerralea said...

Lisa, I'm so glad you have those mementoes, but the memories are even greater. I know what you are going through; my hubby now has the task of going through his mother's things. It's sobering - the idea of the legacies you leave behind! All the things that we stuff into drawers will someday be mute testimony of the life we lived ...

Booklassie Dee said...

What a lovely, heartfelt testimony to your father. It sounds like you were truly blessed.

Barbara H. said...

What a wonderful legacy. My mom passed away four years ago, and I still miss her and i still aches, but not always as intensely as at first. Praying God will comfort and give grace.

"Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am." John 17:24a.

Stephani said...

True treasures. My father is 82 and still teaches Sunday school. My husband and I started attending his class about 5 years ago mainly because I wanted to learn all I could from him. We are the youngest in the class by about 2 decades, but I wouldn't trade it. We tape every lesson and I have all of those tapes. I know it will be a blessing to sit down and listen to his voice, hear God's words spoken through him, and continue to gain wisdom from him even after he's gone. You are helping me to slow down and enjoy my own parents more instead of just constantly worrying about taking care of them. I can still enjoy them in the process. Thanks for sharing.

Marg said...

I find it very interesting that as we age, we have so many more positive things to praise our fathers' for...My dad too...was stubborn, opinionated...but you know what? He led a great life and his town loved him.
I have my dad's hymn book also.
Cheers.

Hazel said...

I'm sorry about your Dad, Lisa. What wonderful keepsakes you got. It's easy to use a Bible with pages that already have verses highlighted. I thought it's great that you got his Bible. My father was too quiet when he was alive and despite being educated by the Jesuits, wasn't into these things yours was. I'm still trying to find more about his life on the books and tech gadgets he left behind.

It's true that you can always discuss your Dad's manuscript 'later' (this is the point where I understood he's gone) Here's to that morning!

nikkipolani said...

Wow, a commentary on Romans? That sounds really interesting. It's wonderful that you have such memories of your dad as well as his influence on your life and his thinking through the commentary. A wonderful tribute to your wonderful father.

Lisa notes... said...

Yes, I am so blessed to have the legacy of a father who led me to the Father. I'm encouraged to hear you all tell me that memories will be greater than mementos. Thanks for the prayers and scripture.

ellen b said...

Must be hard to lose your dad. He sounds a lot like mine. It is a blessing to have a dad that is Godly and good to his family. I can only imagine how tough it will be for your mom to lose her husband of 55 years...
Praying for you all right now that God will comfort you and strengthen you for the days ahead.

Brenda said...

What a beautiful tribute to your father.

Julie said...

Isn't it wonderful how material things can evoke such memories and allow us to hold on to our loved one for as long as we want?
When it was apparent that Uncle Keith wasn't going to get better, Jeff would say "This time last year he was getting his seeds together for his garden." When Uncle Keith died, Jeff said "It's going to be strange not to see that straw hat working in the garden."
Jeff liked to talk to Uncle Keith about gardening and seeds. I remember sitting sat at their house one night while Jeff thumbed through a catalog of seeds Uncle Keith had. I'm glad Jeff likes to garden. I think that's a hobby that will keep Uncle Keith close in his heart always. And it's an appropriate metaphor for all the seeds Uncle Keith planted in our lives. We miss him so much already.

Lisa notes... said...

Julie,
I love the seeds metaphor. I'll miss seeing that straw hat, too. Jenna will miss eating the tomatoes from his garden. I've eaten fresh vegetables from that garden every year of my life; lots of metaphors in that, too...

Thank you for being such a source of comfort and information and love for our family. We're so blessed by you.

Karyn said...

This list is a tribute to an obviously wonderful father. I pray these 'things' you have to keep will bring you comfort.

Susanne said...

What a precious post. So many great memories of your Dad and wonderful, priceless keepsakes. Praying for you and your family at this time. May God bring much comfort to your hearts.

Tucker said...

I remember telling my best friend when his mother died, "She made you who you are, so you can pass that down to your own kids." Fun to relish the memories of the impact our parents had on our lives.

Willow said...

Your post has made me cry, Lisa. I know you'll miss him, but I also know that you are thankful he is not sick anymore and will see him again! Maybe he's talking to my dad and mom who have been in heaven for 8 and 16 years, respectively, this month. Save those little tangible and intangible treasures! Praying for your comfort in this time of grief.

Lisa notes... said...

I love blogging friends--thank you for your prayers and sweet words. They really do help. Blessings to you all...

Dorothy said...

What a precious gift God gave you in your Dad, Lisa! I loved reading this post as you reflect on the legacy he's leaving you...tangible and intangible.

Sandy@JesusandDark Choc said...

I meant to comment on this last Friday, but somehow forgot. This post is such a beautiful tribute to your dad's legacy. And even though you are left with material items. Those items speak magnitudes of a life lived for Christ. What special keepsakes. I love the church bulletin with his sermon notes. Such a reflection a man with a heart for God. May God give you such comfort in knowing how your dad lived his life! :)
Praying for you!

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails