|Disneyland 1986 - a trip we got to take with both he and Mom before traveling for them became too difficult.|
In my week of sorting - I came across a couple of boxes of Moms and in it were 3 of Dad's journals.
My Dad's hand writing was so distinct- I loved seeing it again.
He was bedfast and on a respirator for 11 years due to Muscular Dystrophy and he logged the major events of each day.
The first one fell open to an entry about a friend's husband, Roger Harmon.
Dad's handwriting was so exact and scripted --Something major since one of his arms was frozen at the elbow from a car accident in his early 20's
He was a quiet man - never giving to self-promoting -- so his journal was just the facts -- nothing about his feelings or what he'd accomplished in his lifetime or his successes --
Dad's journaling was like memory storage on a computer -- as he and Mom would consult it from time to time when they needed to check something the doctor had said at an appointment . . .or even when the last repairman was there.
|Dad was mid 30's when first|
diagnosed with MD
He was hardworking - he worked at Shell Oil Refinery for 41 years- As the disease progressed he would go earlier in the morning to work because it took him so much longer to get up the four flights of stairs and leave later for the same reasons.
My Dad not only instilled values, he gave us guidance and urged us to reach our goals -- We didn't realize it at the time -- probably neither did he-- but He was showing us how to handle life challenges with determination and faith,-- we never heard him complain about the cards he was dealt.
My parents didn't want to be a bother to their kids - despite how hard life got. They learned everything they could about Muscular Dystrophy and tackled it together.
Dad and Mom believed their highest calling during those 11 years of often being confined to home was praying for their 6 grandchildren.
When I was young he was the strongest man I knew -- even by that time he had already received
his MD diagnosis. He continued to live life, working hard to support us and instilling in us kids the desire to get a Christian education. They took us to David Lipscomb College family lectures in the summer. And above all, we were to find a Christian mate.
We never thought of Dad as disabled or ill -- he was DAD and
we thought Mom LIKED to do all that yard work and gardening
The day Terry and I got married was a cold day in January -- I remember him washing the big glass doors at the church so they would look great for the wedding. (Never mind that within 24 hours, both our families came down with the London flu.)
Dad was so careful about our life choices . . .
As a teenager he would often say "remember who you are" as I left the house --and would give life lessons at Saturday breakfast.
If the kids and I drove the 12-15 hours from Texas for a visit -- he
always made sure that I had enough money to get home on.
Being a quiet man - he didn't dole out lots of compliments -- one time as I was in the throes of motherhood with two small elementary age kids -- he said, "Jan, I don't know how you do it" --
That spoke volumes to me.