March 8, 2010

86 Years

We celebrated my father's 86th birthday this week and topped it off with dinner at a place where he and mom used to frequent, Jumpin' Catfish. As we got out of the car Dani saw her grandpa pulling in with my brother and sister-in-law and took off. She's always happy to see her grandpa, take hold of his hand, and give him a big hug. This night was no exception.

At 86 years old we're grateful for the years God has blessed dad with. He's certainly a survivor having lived through hands-on combat in WWII and one of the biggest natural disasters to hit the midwest in 1957, the Ruskin Heights Tornado. This wicked twister abducted him from the family, leaving mom to search high and low for her husband. She eventually found him in an area hospital with a collapsed lung. A few good Samaritans discovered him injured in the rubble, loaded him onto a door they used as a make-shift gurney, and took him to the hospital. He not only lived to see another day, but another 53 years.

Dad tells me the invention that astounds him the most is the cell phone. The ability to make a phone call to and from anywhere using a little gadget from his pocket is nothing other than utterly amazing. I gotta say I'm with him on this one too. I love texting our son, Drew, throughout the day and not having to wait till he gets home to receive a call. Things have come a long way since dad was a kid and I came to a new realization of how blessed my generations has been as he told of life as a child in the summer of 1930.

His family, like all others, was poor. When it came to shoes they had money, but only for one pair and they were for winter. This meant they walked, ran, and played all summer in bare feet. He said during the dog-days of summer they always ran and never walked because the pavement was too hot to walk on. As he told this story around the dinner table a vivid picture of all my flip-flops, pool shoes, and sandals popped into my head. While I know how hot pavement can get in the summer, I haven't a clue what it's like to have no shoes to protect my feet.

God had blessed me with a strong and steady father. He never gives up and continues to persevere. Putting family first for all these years, he's been a wonderful example of what a Christian should be. Firm, fixed, and focused to the end. Thanks for showing me these godly principles dad and Happy Birthday!


Cheryl Barker said...

Nancy, what a special post! Thanks so much for sharing your dad with us. What an amazing story about the tornado. So glad God has blessed you with so many years with a truly wonderful father. May you enjoy many more years together!

Sherry said...

What a beautiful tribute to your father! I can tell that you love him very much. Continue to treasure every day you have with him, and I pray that there will be many, many more happy, healthy times ahead.


katiegfromtennessee said...

Wow, yeah, those are some godly principles God has put in him...I love hearing stories from the decades gone by...

Blessings to you,