Obsessive? Maybe… Pt 2

I remember one of the “defining moments” between my father and my sister and me…   There are in many families “eccentric dad” stories.  You look back on your childhood and remember your father’s eccentricities, and even weird grossness. (I’m tempted to get into “Kipper snacks” and “shirtless dinners” but I won’t. BTW I love you Dad.)  One of the things my Dad was obsessive about growing up was that no one slept in on Saturday.  You were up by 9am period.  He would actually come and shake us up out of bed.  (To be honest I’m grateful for His leadership, that Saturday isn’t just a day of relaxation, as much as on Sunday after church we weren’t able to read the paper or watch TV as it was a day of rest. Meaning naps, which in my adulthood have magically become very meaningful)  But on this particular day I was 21, working and going to school in the evening.  My sister was also 19 and working full time.  Dad got us up and proceeded to bring us into the garage. “We’re going to clean this up.”  He said.  Now another “eccentricity” of my Dad is that He’s an admitted pack rat.  He’s loves to work on cars. and often serves those He knows by fixing their cars for free.  However, my Dad will store parts for cars we’ve never owned “just in case”.  “Just in case” a 97 Volvo  diesel just happens to land in our driveway.  So “cleaning” the garage really means moving piles of stuff and making it look somewhat orderly not actually cleaning or throwing anything out.  (My Dad would do this every six months or so)

By God’s grace, both my sister, my younger brother, (Who was 14) and I got up and pitched in.  However, after we were done my sister and I had a talk with my Dad.   We humbly reminded Him that we now had jobs of our own, and that we were paying Him rent to live at home. (Sometimes I marvel at my Dad, imagine having the wisdom to have your 19 year old DAUGHTER pay rent)  We firmly reminded my Dad that we now felt like our Saturdays now were our own to spend as we saw fit.  If He wanted to get up at 8am and start “cleaning” the garage He was free to do so. (And if He wanted to wake up Steve the youngest, and make him help, even better.  Hey we had to get up; you don’t get freebies for being the baby.)  Also, if my Dad wanted our help in “cleaning” the garage He was free to ASK for it.  But knocking on our door at 8:30 and simply expecting our instant obedience wasn’t fair given our responsibilities.  I will never forget my fathers face as the realization dawned upon Him. In a quiet voice, He asked for our forgiveness for not respecting our rest and “fathering” us. (My DAD asked MY FORGIVENESS for FATHERING me!)  We said “we forgive you”, hugged, and then my father went downstairs back to the garage.  After about thirty minutes, my Mother in Her amazing wisdom asked me to go down and tell my Dad I loved Him.  I opened the door to see my Dad just kind of pottering about.  “Hey, are you alright?”  I asked.  My Dad replied, “I’m OK.”  “I just want you to know that I love you.” I said.  “I know that,” my Dad responded, we hugged and both of us struggled to contain our tears.  “I just need to be alone with God for awhile, I’ll be OK.  I’ll see you at dinner.”  As I closed the door to the garage the tears began streaming down my face, and I couldn’t help but wonder if the same thing was happening on the other side.

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One Response to “Obsessive? Maybe… Pt 2”

  1. jaymallow Says:

    My Dad didn’t cry when I became a Marine…

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