Father’s Day Memories

When I left the cemetery today after putting new flower arrangements on my parents’ headstone, I did what I usually do. I began recalling memories. Today is Father’s Day, so many of those memories were of my dad. He was a preacher who believed and lived what he preached. He believed in Jesus, and he believed the words of Jesus.

It didn’t take me long to make it through the mental images of my dad to one of my favorite memories—one I only remember because Mama told me many times, so many, I can see it in my mind. This particular memory has a little history.

Apparently, I have always been quite the talker but not always in a good way. I remember Mama and Daddy both saying, “You would argue with a sign post.” Well, yea, especially if I was right! I started talking early, too, and skipped a lot of the baby talk. I even tried to help others speak correctly, at least one particular word. According to those who knew me when, if anyone called me Sylvie (sil-vee), I would respond, “My name’s not Sylvie. It’s Sylvia (sil-vee-uh),” with emphasis on the uh.

So you can imagine the distinctness with which I spoke during this particular memory. Daddy spent most of the first few years of my life serving in the Army. Much of that time was spent far, far way in Japan. When I was about two years old, the phone rang in the middle of the night. Even in the darkness and far, far away, I knew who it was. I jumped up in the bed and said, “That’s my daddy!”

Daddy’s gone now, but I trust the words he believed and preached. I trust that when I leave this life, whatever new body either of us has, I will know, “That’s my daddy.”

 

 

Mother’s Day Tribute

When my dad passed away in December of 2016, I had to move. I had lived with my parents for several years, helping to care for my mom until she passed away and then my dad until his time came. When I moved, I didn’t have time to go through everything, just pack it up and send it on. As the months have passed and I’ve opened one box at a time, I’ve found things I’m so thankful didn’t get lost or tossed in the move, things I never knew existed.

One of those was a dedication to my mom written by my dad shortly after she died. In it, Daddy included lines from two poems. My dad, a Baptist pastor for over fifty years, read and studied the Bible and Bible-related materials constantly, but I never knew him to read poetry written by anyone except his children.

I think it would be fitting to offer Daddy’s tribute to Mama, the mother of his children, today on Mother’s Day.

 

Dedication To My Wife
Dorothy Mae Nash
November 30, 1925 – May 21, 2013
Who Went Home To Be With The Lord

Mrs. Nash was a member of Union Friendship Baptist Church. She loved the Lord and her family and was a faithful Christian and a faithful pastor’s wife. For 67 years, we walked hand in hand through the valleys and the mountain tops of life.

When our time on earth is through, in heaven too, you will have my hand.
I will always remember, when the rest of my life is through, the finest thing I have ever done was loving you.

Written this day May 30, 2013
Her Husband
Douglas Nash

 

[The last lines above are the ones from the two poems, both by Robert A. Sexton (poet and artist, 1943-2017). The poems are printed below in their entirety, formatted as presented on his cards, and printed by permission.]

 

THE PROMISE

Across the years
I will walk with you –
in deep, green forests;
on shores of sand:
and when our time
on earth is through
in heaven, too,
you will have
my hand.

Robert A. Sexton

 

LEGACY

This,
I will remember,
when the rest of life
is through:
the finest thing
I’ve ever done
is simply
loving you.

Robert A. Sexton