Today brings memories of my dad. He was born in Germany on April 14th, 1899. He would have been 108 years old today had he lived past his 71st birthday. He and mom married when he was 60 and she was 21. I remember how he loved to read. In fact he kept all the newspapers he read. One whole side of the outside of the house was filled with stacks of newspapers against the brick wall. When he died he wanted the papers to be donated to the church that I attended... a small Baptist church were I was saved at VBS. Mom was glad to get rid of them...finally. The church was very thankful, as they were earning money by recycling them, back when you were paid to recycle. However some of the newspapers that were in that stack in 1972 were from the early 30's in Chicago and worth a bit of money! To their credit they came back and told mom, but I think she still donated them.
Dad would love to read the paper or books or magazines to me. I remember he bought a whole set of encyclopedias just for me when I was just a baby. When I was older I read the inscription that was written to me. Mom sold them at a garage sale years later, but I still remember how it touched me that dad thought they were so important to have for my education even though I was so young.
Dad also thought it was important for me to have my ears pierced in the nursery before I even came home. He was very attentive to the little things that pertained to my life. He would have mom put me only in dresses when I was little. Mom would have to iron all those ruffles back before clothing came wrinkle free.
I was a quiet little girl according to both mom and dad. I would just sit and play wiht my toys and read my books and the neighbors in the apartment buidling dad owned didn't believe they had a child. They said they never heard me cry. Mom and dad said I was just content to read, and when I got older I was the same. They said often on a Saturday instead of going out to play I would be inside studying or reading. I attribute this to my dad's example. He was always reading and learning.
Dad was born in Germany and then migrated to the U.S.A. in the 20's. He then married my mom in 1959, and had a baby that died before me, and then I was born in 1961. As I grew dad would love to be working out in the front yard pulling the clover out of the lawn, so that he would have a beautiful green lawn. I was out there with him and many times people would ask if I was his grand daughter. I would proudly say NO, he's my dad!
Dad was a Carpenter by trade. My brothers and sister and I would wait by the big picture window for him to drive into the driveway, and jump up and down on the sofa announcing to mom that he was home. I just loved the smell of him when he came home. He smelled of freshly cut wood, and he would have these large pink mints in his pocket for us. Sometimes we would eat them and sometimes we would use them as chalk to write on the driveway while we played with our little dachshund. I remember dad's hands were big and strong, and gentle.
Dad got sick with cancer a few years before he died. I remember going to hospitals and waiting for test results. Then we would go visit at the nursing home. Dad got to come home a few times for our birthdays and special occasions, but soon became to weak. He looked so pale and thin the last time I saw him, and the nurses helped him grow a mustache, so I hardly recongnized him. Years later I saw my uncle in Germany and it looked just like my dad!
I wasn't able to go to the funeral as mom thought it would be best that the children not go. I wish I had been able to go to say good bye.
I was only 10 when he died. I remember him to have been a kind gentle hearted man, who loved us so much. I don't know if he was a Christian, but as God would have it, I got saved a few months before he died and I was able to talk to him about Jesus and that I was saved. Mom told me that he refused to see a Catholic Priest for last rights before he died but he wasn't Catholic. I don't know if he belonged to Jesus or not. It was a very lonely time after he died as little girls love their daddy's. I am hoping that one day when I get to heaven, that dad will be there too. A girl can always hope. I miss you dad. It was at this time in my life that I learned to cry out to God and to cling to Jesus.
Today is also the the birthday of a dear friend who is at home with Jesus now and I still miss her very much as well. At least I know for sure that she is in the arms of Jesus. I miss you Sandy. Hope to see you soon at supper :)
© Monika Hardy