Sunday, June 17, 2012

One Extraordinary Man

The righteous man walks in his integrity;
his children are blessed after him.
Proverbs 20:7

Several years ago, my 91 year old Auntie Helen passed away.  In her final moments, I was told she called out for Jimmy to come get her.  He was her older brother - 10 years older - and she loved him dearly for carrying her on snowy days & for helping her make her way in life.  He watched out for her with tender care throughout her childhood. 

He did so throughout mine as well.

To say my Dad was an outdoorsman just doesn't do justice to the man who sought God & His creation as a devotion - as if he & God shared some private understanding about a certain trail & or fishing hole. 

He was an adventurer at heart -  fisherman, hunter, skier & mountain climber.  Even in his dying days, he sought the streams & lakes of Western Washington State as a respite from his illness.

My sisters & I share similar, though different memories of the man we called Daddy They are older than me (by 15, 13 & 6 1/2 years), so they had him longer & knew him in ways I was denied because of his early & untimely death when I was but 16 years old.  Nevertheless, I savor what I did have; and today most of all.

Father's Day. 

For some, the day connotes less-than-lovely memories of their fathers.  It grieves me to think that not everyone had/has a Daddy that loves & leads in noble ways.  I've heard it said that God's Fatherhood is harder for some of these to trust as a result.  In those instances I pray healing & restoration.

But for me, today is a day to thank God for Jim Wells - the man known well for his honor, work ethic & devotion; the man who stood tall at the helm of my family. 

Dad regarded my mother highly, esteeming her in the most tangible ways.  Theirs was a love affair that spanned from 1929 when they met until his death in 1964 (and no doubt now, too, in eternity where they both reside). 

They could often be found snuggling together on the couch as they watched the evening news or Lawrence Welk.  Sometimes we'd find him tidying up the kitchen for her; or down on his knees giving the floor a good scrub - - or, better still, on his knees beside her in prayer each night before bed.

A gentleman, & quite dapper, it was rare when Dad didn't don a suit & tie for Sunday Church.  He would take his place as family leader, herding his beloved clan to worship the Lord.  It was on such days that I loved the way he smelled - a mixture of Ivory Soap, Men's cologne & Cloret gum; and I delighted the way my little hand fit into his. 

To him, I was his Palsy Walsy.  I loved to play near his basement work area, weaving around him on a trike or sitting nearby to ask umpty-umpty questions.  It was a magical, mystical place, where every nook, closet or stair crevice was a kingdom to be ruled or conquered.  He allowed me free reign to do either.

Though my parents surely had hard times, I cannot remember a single one until the day I was told of the illness, Leukemia, that was to take his life.  Even now it's surreal to think anything or anyone could claim my Dad. 

Thank you, Lord, for the man
that gave me wings to fly.  
He was, and is a treasure to this family;
and today most of all:
Father's Day.   


Sonja said...

I can't think of a more beautiful way to pay tribute to your precious dad. Tears in Texas as I shared this with you this morning... what a treasure you and I were blessed with to have both a mother and a dad who taught us by their lives.

Happy Father's Day to all of our fathers who wait for us up there! :)

Denise said...

Such a touching tribute to your father, love you my friend.

Beth E. said...

Beautiful, Kathleen! He sounds like a wonderful dad.


Maryann said...

Lovely tribute to your Dad, you were indeed blessed

Janette@Janette's Sage said...

Precious tribute to your Dad...what a truly Godly blessing and inheritance you have

Debbie said...

this was a wonderful tribute to a no doubt wonderful man. How blessed you were.

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

He sounds a lot like my Billy, especially the part about esteeming your mother. My husband, too, scrubs the floors and never with complaint. He is a generous, best grace to my heart.


manthano said...

It's great to have a dad we can thank God for.
Thanks sharing these memories with us.

Just a little something from Judy said...

This is truly one of the dearest, kindest, and most honoring Father's Day tributes that I have ever read in blogland. What a gift God blessed you with in giving you a dad like yours. No wonder you are such a special lady.

My heart aches for so many little ones who will not ever be able to write a tribute like yours.

Betty said...

This is beautiful...thats how all Dad should be...strong enough that we cannot anything or anyone could claim their life. Beautiful

Cheryl Barker said...

What an amazing and beautiful tribute to your dad, Kathleen. He sounds like he was indeed a great man. I love his nickname for you -- probably because my dad still to this day calls me Cherylsy-Werylsy. He's the only one who ever calls me that. Don't know what I'll do when I won't get to hear that endearment any more. Will treasure it while I can...