by Annette Meyer
This was originally written in 2014. It is now 2017, I am still fulltime caregiver for my father and mother. While reading this tribute in my archives I realized that it pretty well says everything I would say now, so I have chosen to “remember” and share this one again! He’s now “knocking on 83” and still yearning to learn more of his Father in Heaven’s scriptural truth! I am blessed to have this man for a Dad.
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June 2014: Here in the USA, Father’s Day is upon us once again. I am abundantly blessed to be with my Dad daily now, to be a caretaker for a man who, as he often says is “knocking on 80” and still has such a burning desire to learn for himself and to share the Truth of the Bible with other seekers, those who yearn to grow spiritually. He tells me quite often how much he appreciates all that I do for him and Mom. I tell him just as often that I’m happy to be here helping; I wouldn’t, even for one moment, consider trading this mission field for all the money in the world!
A stroke several years ago had affected his eyes and his comprehension was short circuited. He lost the ability to read. Reading, his only lifelong hobby had been shut off, suddenly taken from him. All my life, more than anything else, I can remember Daddy sitting for hours, reading, studying books, researching, never failing to have pen and notebooks handy to make copious notes. His Bible or a study book was always nearby. A tape recorder traveled with him while he drove, a briefcase rattled with cassette tapes of sermons and music to inspire him in the interim. His hobby was the Bible and learning everything he could about a healthy lifestyle. His only collections are notebooks and literature reflecting that love for knowledge in those areas. I always thought my Dad could have been a huge success in college. His heart’s desire has always been learning more to draw closer to his Father in Heaven.
We have watched this man sit and cry often, despondent and forlorn because he could no longer read his Bible or recall with clarity everything that he knew of the scriptures.
Last year, at a very low point physically, I began playing audio versions of the Bible for him to comfort him. Tears of joy filled his eyes, he would actually gasp when certain passages that held special meaning for him were spoken; just to be able to HEAR those words that he loves brought him great peace and serenity, they were most certainly as sweet as honey to his ears, balm to his soul!
A few weeks ago we were all shocked when Daddy realized that he could actually read words again! They were fuzzy and distorted but he could understand the letters! Five years of drought have been broken for him! He is as a small child with a new toy, so eager to make up for lost time! Daily, He is feasting once again upon The Word! Since Daddy has started practicing his reading again, his ability to recall is also growing quickly! No doubt, that brain of his is healing! Nothing short of a miracle!
My story today is one that begins decades ago, with an humble and sincere young man of modest means who sat so often, his wife and seven small, fidgety children collected around him, reading, telling stories, teaching them, sharing the most precious treasure that he would ever have to give–his faith! I recall witnessing much of my earthly father’s faith walk, his integrity and constant search for more truth, and I am ever grateful for his dedication. I see his steadfastness in the depths of his heart daily. Daddy’s greatest desire on this earth is to see his own children and grandchildren embracing that faith as zealously as he has; to know that the blessings are flowing down to the third and fourth generations of those who love Him! That’s the legacy he hopes to leave within all of us!
Across the room I often see him close his eyes and mouth a silent prayer of thanksgiving for restoring the gift of remembrance to him as he reads! He then sighs contentedly and smiling to himself, goes back to reading, occasionally highlighting a passage. I am so blessed to be able to remember at least these last 50 years of focused dedication that he has lived and I can proudly point a child’s finger and say, “That’s MY Dad!” You are my blessing! LOVE YOU!!!!