I wish you could have sat at the dinner table with us, my parents, my brother and I, especially in the late 60s. Not only because the table was perfectly set, with an ironed tablecloth and china dishes, not only because the food my mother prepared was exotic and nutritious, but because my father told us stories better than anyone I have ever known.
We didn’t have the television on, ever, during mealtimes, nor a radio. We didn’t have cell phones, or iPads, or anything distracting us from one another, and nothing was more entertaining than hearing a story told by my father. Even if it was a repeat.
“Tell us,” we’d beg, “about the Chicago Stockyards. Tell us about that time we were going to church when that motorcycle crashed two cars ahead of us, and you ran out to help while Mama made us stay in the car so we couldn’t see what was being covered with a blanket.”
His stories border on the fantastic, not because they aren’t true, but because they are. You can hardly believe that these things really happened, that we seemingly entertained angels unaware, but I can attest to the veracity of every word. I was there for many of them.
But, I wasn’t there for some of my favorites:
- the blizzard in which two cars struck in an intersection, and my father held one of the injured women until the ambulance could come
- the stranger in the Alps who stood in front of a little house and said, “Why not stay here?” when our family was cold and hungry and could not find a hotel late at night
- the way my parents struggled in helping my brother find a path after High School, and when my father was out driving in the country came to impassable road after impassable road, until he arrived at the farm of an old friend who ended up giving my brother a job
- the way that a heart surgeon was able to direct his tools, after struggling for hours with an angioplasty, when the patient cried out for guidance
These stories and more are included in a little book my father has published. We wish to give five of them away, we’ll send them internationally if so desired, with the hope that you will be blessed in reading them. They are a testimony of my father to our Father, in gratitude for the things he has done. Please leave your name below should you wish a copy.
And, Happy Father’s Day to all the men who have stood with their children, teaching them, loving them, and sharing their own stories of encouragement and strength.