To my kids: This Father’s Day I want to let you know some more of our story. While we were in college, we were on summer mission teams for two years. Your dad was so excited to work with the native children and tell them God loved them and wanted them to go to His Heaven some day. He was so glad when 6 little boys from camp wanted to accept what Jesus had done for them- dying for their sins and giving them a way to be right with God.
When I called and said that I wanted him to come visit, your dad talked his dad into letting him borrow the car and drove 4 hours to come over to see me the next day. That was the beginning of our dating. While we were dating, he wrote me almost every day- by snail mail!
When my dad asked us to wait till I graduated from college to get married, he agreed to wait.
He ate my cooking. When I put the chicken in the oven to roast and put the rack too high in the oven and it caught on fire, I went out on the front stoop of the house and cried. He put the fire out, aired out the house, and then came and sat outside with me, with his arm around me. He has eaten some pretty weird-looking meals over the years.
When I had a toddler and was very sick one year (think bronchitis, coughing so hard I thought I had broken a rib and pregnant), he started washing the dishes for me every night. He kept it up for over a year, and never mentioned it.
When I over-committed to help at church, he fussed at me, then helped me finish the project. Several times.
One year one of the wise men at church couldn’t make it for the Christmas play, so he wore a towel on his head and a bathrobe and filled in to help me out.
He paid for piano lessons for you, even when he was going deaf and couldn’t hear you play. He paid for voice lessons even when he couldn’t hear you sing.
He was the shop teacher that helped you take apart an engine, and put it back together. He helped you refinish furniture, made dollhouses and made projects for Christmas craft fair- year after year.
He took all of us camping all across the country and into Canada, over and over again.
When there was no one to teach the young children at church, he taught Little Pilgrims Progress. When the teens needed a teacher, he taught them. When we were without a pastor, he spoke at church.
He took down the barn. He built the garage. He maintained the house and property: renovating the old farmhouse one room at a time, painting, cement work on the outside of the house 2 feet down, cement work in the basement, electrical wiring, painting, planting, mowing, trimming. He worked, and still works, very hard to keep the property looking not just nice, but stunning. He is amazing.
Happy Father’s Day, Edward. I love you, Elizabeth.