Sunday, I was making a fruit salad to take to church for a lunch we were having. As I was chopping up apples and celery for an old fashioned Waldorf salad, the sights and scents reminded me of my father. My Dad went to be with the Lord in 2000. Prior to that, he spent nearly 80 years surprising, delighting and entertaining those who were privileged to know him. My dad was a remarkable person.
Dad was a wonderful cook. He loved to see people eat. He loved to sing off key at the top of his lungs and he really loved people. Many times in my life I have heard people speak admiringly about him. The things they seemed to notice about him were that he always was quick with a smile, that he was always the same day to day, never moody or grumpy.
These things were true. He wasn't moody or difficult, in spite of the fact that his entire body had been basically crushed in a car accident, He had seen combat in 3 wars on as many continents. One brother and many friends were buried in foreign soil as well as having his other brother presumed dead as he languished as a Japanese prisoner of war. My dad buried his first born son as a newborn, he outlived most of his 7 siblings and his parents.
My dad loved life. He Jitterbugged, Charlestoned and Twisted through my growing up years. This was a man who never went to bars or dances, but danced and cavorted in our home. As a small child, it delighted me and as a teenager, I was embarassed a bit, but it never dimmed his singing and dancing and smiling. What love and joy must have been hidden in his heart that he could be so lively and jubilant. I miss him and I think the rest of the world misses him or men like him. Some may not even know what they are missing, but the world is dimmer and more monochromatic without fellows like Dad.
I so hoped to cut a wide swath. To be bigger than life like my folks. I am not sure I will accomplish it. Too many times I have taken the easy path. Too many times, my song has been muted or my dance slowed by the disapproval of others. Too often I have let the heartaches and difficulties of my life take my eyes off the prize. I suspect that no one will ever be delighted or amazed by my life. I just hope to have been a blessing sometimes, to have imparted to my children how to love and serve their God and how to be good to their loved ones. I will leave the legend making to my dad. Or perhaps one of my children might put on that mantle.
Trying to shine.