Friday, January 22, 2010

Remembering

By Belinda

I look at the note at the top of my page in the Daily Light for January 22nd. It reads, "Dad's homegoing," and on the line below, "2003."

Seven years: It seems so long for him to have been gone, and I immediately think of all that has happened since the point where we carried on as family; without him: especially Mum's stroke in October that same year.

I wonder how they could have possibly managed as a couple through that terrible time if he had still been here.

I decide not to dwell on that which is impossible to know, and instead I remember him:

The boy born unwanted--the result of a liaison between an employer and household servant in 1920--willing or unwilling.

The boy who didn't know his mother until he was dropped off into the care of a virtual stranger at the age of 5.

Whose childhood included rejection, deprivation, hunger and violence.

Who joined the army in wartime, with patriotism and high ideals that were shattered in the blood, betrayal and brutal horror that he witnessed in his short weeks on the battle field; if there are such things as "short weeks on the battlefield."

Who married a beauty with a beautiful soul, who also bore scars unseen. A woman who wanted to love and rescue this man who had never known what love was.

A man who lost her love and found strength to face the world only when fortified by the warmth of liquor.

A man increasingly isolated as he aged, by hearing loss, but who steadfastly refused to wear a hearing aid; expecting the world instead, to conform to his disability.

But also a man we loved because he was ours to love. And because he did his best to love us with what he had to work with.

My Daily Light's first verse for today is:

Psalm 48:14 (New International Version)
14 For this God is our God for ever and ever;
he will be our guide even to the end.

And the evening reading includes these verses:

2 Corinthians 12:9 (New International Version)
9But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.

Matthew 9:2 (New International Version)
..."Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven."

and

Matthew 9:22 (New International Version)
22Jesus turned and saw her. "Take heart, daughter," he said, "your faith has healed you."...

These verses have seemed to me, since this day in 2003, a special message of grace to us; bringing us all to the foot of the cross; a cross where we all can find mercy and healing.

4 comments:

Marilyn Yocum said...

Beyond excellent, this perspective, this view, casting back across almost a century and bringing it down to what matters most, not saying the details of their stories are meaningless and to be forgotten, but looking fully into the face of those facts and the deep-seated feelings they engender, and claiming what it comes down to in the thoughts of one remembering.

A beautiful thing...honoring those people by not forgetting them and their stories, yet above that, honoring what Christ has given in terms of restoration and reconciliation across generations. You, the younger, have spoken blessing over those who have gone before - a mystery to us, how this is possible - by bringing the scripture to bear over them.

Suz said...

Belinda - That was a beautiful way to honor your father. We all bear inner scars that shape who we are and how we relate to others. Your father's seemed almost unbearable but he survived. What a strong man. And I am sure he knew you loved him even if he could not return that love easily.

Thank you for your words.

Julie said...

Belinda I am just catching up on my reading and have just read this. It was so beautiful I am in tears as I write this. I have been moved and forever changed by this post. Thank you gracious and loving Father in heaven.

Blessings

Belinda said...

Dear Julie,
I know you miss your own dad very much. A big hug.