Wednesday, May 29, 2013

In Loving Memory of My Dad

He was 27 years old when the doctor handed him a bundle of joy – a life he would share with mom for the rest of our days. As the doctor said...'Glen, you have a healthy baby girl...congratulations.'I’m sure he held me close, kissed my forehead, kissed my mom, & whispered I love you within his heart as he welcomed me. For that very split second, he was holding the youngest life on the planet...As time
passed, another life came to us, my sister,Brenda & our family was created. Over the years, we shared times of laughter, discovery, tears, disagreements & reconciliations. We talked at the dinner table about our day. Mom & Dad always took time to be there when we needed them, encouraging us along the way.
We learned about respect, family values, & God.

When I was very young, dad worked swing shift at Luke Mill. He would get up early & have breakfast with Mom - I would join them at the breakfast bar. We would welcome the morning over coffee (yeah, I started young) As he be walking out the door on his way to work...I would say to him:  “I love you, Dad -Tell Brooks & Gus, I said hello,”
He would kind of wave to me with his lunch box, & while placing his hat on his head, he’d reply “I will & I love you too, Chum.”
As the years passed, I looked forward to our time together after his late shift from work. Usually after everyone was in bed, we would share a laugh at one of the many Benny Hill’s antics. And he would tell me about his day & I would share mine.
We would share talks & plans for life while standing under a chassis of his car, & later with my car on the ramp. From our time together, I learned about the care & art of detailing cars, business & life skills & how to stand on my own...

There are many moments that I remember ...yet one memory I would like to share that is very special.
The look on Dad’s face when for Father’s day one year, I presented a model car I had completed from looking at a photo of him with his 54 Chevy Bel Air. It was a project completed in love. He kept that car for 30 years....the model, that is. As long as I can recall,we have always shared a passion for the antique, classic, & vintage automobiles. For this model car was a gift that touched his heart, a common bond between father & daughter that would later have a spiritual meaning...

A couple of months ago I was home visiting dad. It was good for we had time to talk, & share our final goodbyes. But at night God shared dreams with me. And this one specific dream really was a message to my heart. In the dream I took dad’s bel air to the mechanic because it was rusting, the headlights were dim, there were creaking sounds that indicated a need for service & the engine was not performing well.
The mechanic informed me after contacting the manufacturer that dad had accepted the lifetime warranty extended from the original designer of this model. He would only have to return the model he presently has - no matter the condition - for a brand new one. So he did. My dad had accepted the Lord & exchanged his old for the new. Now - He has a new body, new heart, new eyes...and probably some bald tires in heaven, right. :o)
The next morning I shared this dream with Dad, Mom & Brenda ... it was awe inspiringly comforting. As I felt the Spirit reveal to me the message behind the dream. I cried.

For 53 years ago my relationship with my earthly father began when he was handed a small frail body, completely dependent upon him & mom for everything. We loved one another from the very first breath.
Recently my dad experienced the very same dependency as his earthly body grew frailer by the day. He was loved to his last breath.

Now, I can imagine him resting in the arms of His Heavenly Father. No longer is Dad a small, frail body that had no choice but to submit to the decease that overcame him....

He is whole. He is perfect. He is complete.

His were the first arms to embrace me. He is the man I called Dad all of my life.  I called him that as I kissed his forehead one last time. And with a peaceful goodbye I am sure that heaven extended a joyful hello.

As I was writing this...I spent time looking at old snapshots taken over a lifetime. Christmas of 1997 Mom & Dad gave both Brenda & I each a box filled with family pictures & memories.

On the underside of the lid, dad had penned this poem to me:
"When you are busy & on the go;
And life doesn’t seem to be much fun.
Take time & look at these old snapshots.
And don’t forget you are always our ‘chum’." Love, Dad

So, Dad, I love you too & for old times’ sake,"
Please...tell Brooks & Gus, I said hello."
I will miss you & will never forget you. If I could remember that first
day in your arms, I’m sure I would have felt that love...Yes, I will always be your little girl...'Chum'.

I Love You, Dad.
“God, our heavenly Father, thank You for sharing Your Son with us so that we may share our lives with You. May we appreciate the moments we are given, the lives we are to live, the blessings You wrap around us. May others may see You living in us. Thank you for giving us Your gift of  love & eternal life, & for patiently waiting by heaven’s door to welcome us home. Lord,
You have given us peace, assurance & comfort in our spirits as we place our Dad, & husband & friend in Your arms. Amen"
Cecil G. Dawson
11/24/1932 - 05/29/2013
   is one of our favorite tunes... 'Sugar Blues'