Altar Call – Opelika-Auburn News
May 26, 2013
Strange to say but lately I have seen my Dad a lot
Strange it is to say so but I have seen my Dad a lot lately. I saw him last night at a barbeque grill in the backyard of the home he built in 1930. He was grilling hamburgers.
Actually the person at the grill was my grandson Jake, now a junior at Auburn University. While Jake was expertly cooking burgers and dogs I saw my Dad doing the same thing, near that same spot, when I was a boy. There was one difference. Dad’s grill was at ground level; the coals were in a hole he had dug in the earth. Jake’s grill was built up with bricks two feet off the ground.
Inside the house Dean and I sat and talked with Jake’s parents, our son Steve and his wife Amy. They live in the old home place, having bought and remodeled it after my parents died. We were celebrating their son Josh’s graduation from Macon-East Academy and the opportunity given him to move on and play baseball for AUM.
The room in which we sat is their bedroom now, with a nice new bathroom built off the south side. It had been the bedroom of my parents during most of their 67 years of marriage.
Sitting there I saw my Dad struggling in his late years to get out of bed. He wanted so much to maintain his independence. But his strength was failing as he moved into his nineties. I remembered the day he said, “I could get out of bed by myself if only I had something to grab hold of.”
My son Tim and I bought some pipe and fastened it to the floor just a foot away from Dad’s bed. He was pleased. For awhile he was able to grab that pipe and get out of bed and on his feet without assistance. The pipe looked strange but Dad liked it because it enabled him to help himself. I saw him using that pipe the other night in that bedroom.
In that very room I also saw my mother during the two years she remained after Dad died. Most of that time she was in a hospital bed in that room. Dad’s prayers were for the most part answered. He had asked the Lord to let him live so he could take care of Mama. The Lord let him live into his 93rd year.
When we sit at Steve’s and Amy’s table to eat I see my Dad sitting in his familiar place in the room we called the “breakfast room.” Whether it is planned I am not sure but my place at their table is the identical place I sat when I was a boy. Each of my siblings had “our place” at the table. Dad and Mama had their places. At the present table, a new one Steve had built, I can still see my Dad instructing us to hold hands while he prayed the only prayer I ever heard him pray: “Bless, O Lord, this food to our use and ourselves to thy service for Christ’s sake. Amen.”
When I drive along Redland Road and observe a new crop of corn growing so beautifully I see my Dad. I see him in his old corn fields, admiring the fine ears of corn thriving on that rich Tallapoosa River bottom land. Some years those corn stalks towered over him and he would beam as he talked about the fine yield per acre he was expecting.
Though Dad left us almost 20 years ago he is still around. Only in my memories it’s true. But memories are real. They are precious. And they do linger. Through their window I have seen my Dad a lot lately and I am blessed. + + +