Happy "D"ad's Day

A history buff I am not, but I was familiar with the term D day.  On June 6, 1944 Allied troops embarked on the beaches of Normandy, France to gain access to fight Nazi Germany.  There has been debate surrounding that famous "D" and what it officially stood for.  People  have given their thought: designated day, decision day, doomsday, or even death day.  A bit of research landed my thinking on the simply thought that the "D" really stood for day - the day the invasion would take place.  An interesting added idea from Paul Dickson's book "War Slang":

"When someone wrote to General Eisenhower in 1964 asking for an explanation, his executive assistant Brigadier General Robert Schultz answered: “General Eisenhower asked me to respond to your letter. Be advised that any amphibious operation has a ‘departed date’; therefore the shortened term ‘D-Day’ is used.” "

I found that military planners often used a "D"day to mark other important events, D-3 would indicate 3 days before the "D" day while D+5  would denote 5 days after the "D" day.

So if we were using that same strategy to indicate today's "D" Day - Father's Day, how would that translate.  My own Dad would celebrate today as D+21,148.  Frank would celebrate today as D+11,220.  (Don't check my math, it's close if not exact.  My older sister and my oldest daughter would just as soon you not spend the time figuring out their ages!  😁)  Wow!  That's a significant number of "dad" days.

How would I describe how my own Dad spent and and continues to spend those days as a father?  Two words seem to rise above others: commit and serve.  Daddy Bob, as the grandchildren and great grandchildren call him, has been:
committed to the Lord since he was a boy.  
committed to my mother in marriage for over 58 years.  
committed to a business concept with integrity and honestly since he began working.  
committed to a local church all his life.  
committed to pursuing righteousness through God's word faithfully.
committed to healthy living all his life.  (At 79, he still competes in Senior Olympics!)
committed to encouraging and supporting his legacy including 3 daughters, 3 son-in-laws, 9 grandchildren, 2 grand-daughter-in-laws, 3 grand-son-in-laws, and 5 great grandboys and another one on the way.

As I review that commitment list, the understanding of the two I used to describe him become even clearer.  Each of those commitments, if done well, simply demand serving.  I could simply repeat each of those categories asserting his:
service to the Lord through giving and helping others.
service to my mother as they created an example of a Godly home and marriage.
service to a business by working hard and staying the course.
service to their church in servant leadership in almost every area.
service to obeying God's word as he understood the precepts.
service to pursuit of health and wellness... with vigor!
service to us... his legacy in encouraging, challenging and loving us.

Two of my most tender memories of my dad.  The first when I was a little girl.  

Fever was extremely high, and I had been diagnosed with rheumatic fever.  I had learned somewhere that if you have a high fever for a long time, brain damage is possible.  So, as a young child, I was concerned asking my dad, "Am I going to get brain damage?"  He didn't laugh at me or make me feel stupid for asking that question.  He simply continued to place the cool washcloth on my forehead and said, "Susan, your brain is going to be just fine."

The second was much later - just a few years ago.  I had experienced a difficult abdominal surgery.  Both my mom and dad were at the hospital with me late that evening.  The medicines began to cause reactions, and as I leapt to the bathroom violently vomiting, I quickly realized at 40something years old, my mom was holding my hand and my dad was gathering my hair gently behind me.  That day of his 21,148 might not be his fondest memory, but it is one I will never forget.  

I know there have been many times when my decisions disappointed my dad, but he has always been available to redirect or support me.  

believe my dad would give his life for me;  I'm not so sure he would agree to give mine for anyone else.

As much as I believe my dad loves me, regardless of your experience with a father, we all have a Father who adores us.  Spend some time thanking him today - I can't figure out how to do the Math on forever eternity.... He simply loves HIS children.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, 
that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, 
that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!  1 John 3:1 

He is a good, good Father.

Wedding Day

Mollie, our youngest daughter, got married... April 8th, to her sweet Tolliver.  The day was filled with cherished memories made and precious moments experienced.  I've thought a lot about the joy that came along with her wedding day.   Family and friends joined us for the day.  Sunshine filled the day with brightness.  Mollie gifted Tolliver with a box of letters she had written for the past 8 years - simply addressed to her future husband... with the final one laid carefully atop the box addressed simply... to Tolliver.  He gifted her with a letter recounting their dating/engagement years with such hope as they began their married life together... (and a box holding the boots she wore in the wedding).  Watching Mollie touch the hand of Tolliver with a door between them as they prayed together without seeing each other before the wedding.  Watching Mollie tap her dad on the shoulder before the wedding to allow him a "first look" at her before the ceremony time.... Watching Tolliver do his very best... a bit unsuccessfully... to hold back the overwhelming emotion as Mollie walked down the aisle toward him... 
and a day filled with laughter...

As I've thought  of all our daughters, each one has focused on something specific leading to their day.  Katie, our oldest daughter, was concerned about something happening to her dress on her wedding day.  As I was moving her dress from one car to another, a praying mantis appeared on top of the car.  His bended knee reminded me with such tenderness that the day was blessed just as Katie and Chris placed their faith and now their marriage with Christ as the head.  
Kellie, our second daughter, married her Tim in Florida.  Her determined mind was adamant - no matter the weather, their wedding vows were to be said on the beach.  The rains came, their decision was firm - As Frank walked her down the sandy aisle, the rain ceased, and we celebrated their union reminding us all that though there will be storms in this life, some unexpected, our God has promised to walk with us never leaving us to weather the storm alone... 

Mollie wanted her blue blanket to be included in her special day.  Yes, her blanket.  "Blue", she has called it, since she was a little girl.  My grandmother made this special fleece blanket, and Mollie has held it tightly as long as we can remember...  "Blue" traveled everywhere with Mollie, from friends' slumber parties to grandparents' houses, to the hospital after seizures and then through appendectomy.  Of course, it went to college and to her first apartment.  There was sheer terror when we misplaced it.  That blanket was security; it brought comfort; it relieved panic.  It covered Mollie during fearful nights, during difficult heartbreak, through sadness and discouragement.  "Blue" was tattered and torn, barely a piece left.  Our dear friend, Miss Jean, had completed a few alterations on Mollie's dress, so we were talking with her about a possible addition.  Would there be a way to somehow attach a little square of "Blue" into Mollie's dress?  Miss Jean was up for the challenge and had just the perfect idea.  The picture on the left gives a beautiful view of Mollie's dress with no hint of the hidden treasure beneath the lovely layers of gorgeous white.  The "addition" was sewn into the lining of the dress in the perfect form of a pocket, an envelope with a snap enclosure.  "Blue" brought its own comfort and security to the day - 
Peace, security, comfort... 
reminded us in the wonderful, take your breath away, joy-filled moments 
 in the difficult, panic-stricken, take your breath away moments, our God covers us...

He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.  Psalm 91:4