|First bronze star after D-Day invasion.|
Daddy had made his home with us for over 11 years, I was his full-time caregiver with the assistance of my husband. I first began to help with dad's care in 1990. In the mid 90s both my parents needed help. Mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 1996. Dad and I cared for mom for several years at home, before placing her in a nursing home in 2002. Daddy went to visit mother while she was in a nursing home everyday. The only time he wasn't able was when he'd had surgery or was sick.
Life is very different for me, for the first time since 1983 I have no one to care for nor a schedule to keep. I'm not afraid, nor anxious, nor troubled by this life change. For dad his journey is complete on this earth, for me my journey in caring for children and parents is complete.
I miss my dad very much. We were great friends and companions, confidants, prayer partners, shared our feelings about books, discussed theology and politics, there were no topics off limit. Often dad read reviews I'd written or other writing projects. We encouraged one another. We were a source of strength in this life for each other. But, dad's knowledge and wisdom and strength came from the Lord, they were not created in his human mind.
Going through his personal items this past week has been both cathartic and sad, it has also been a reminder of what was most important to him in this life---Jesus Christ. I have a box and file cabinet full of his journals (dated from the early 1970s to present) and including Bible teaching material. My dad taught Sunday Bible study for 60 years. He retired in early 2009. He loved reading the Bible and read through it every year. He loved studying the Bible. He loved telling other people about Jesus and what Jesus had done in his life. I remember many years ago his happiness when he bought the book on Josephus by Kregel Publications. Daddy loved the commentaries by William Barclay. He read and re-read all of Charles Swindoll's books. The last Bible class he was teacher of he hated to retire from, but his health had declined. Daddy loved that class of men and they loved him. At dad's funeral last week each of the men remarked that daddy was the best teacher they'd ever heard.
In the past I've written about leaving a legacy, primarily in reference to faithfulness. My dad was a man of faithfulness, and the heritage and legacy he left for me and the rest of my family cannot be measured. It should not be ignored either. One of the last things daddy asked me during the last week he was home, "Annette when are you going to write that book?" It's time, time for my next journey...I'll be writing that book now.
|Dad and his bronze stars during World War II.|
|Dad and I in Colorado, 1969.|
|At dad's 90th birthday party December 2012. I'm on the left, dad, my sister Frances.|