We had a gentle Father’s Day celebration this year. Murray picked take-out from taco bell for his lunch choice. He received a variety of gifts—movies, books, snacks. Ping-Hwei gave him three piggy banks. Murray calls them his hog farm.
At church our pastor reminded us of several things.
Let’s have joy, because God is our tender, compassionate father.
He encouraged fathers to bring their children to Jesus.
And he reminded all of us to be thankful for our fathers and what they did for us.
I thought about my father, Darwin Henry Fritz Brinkmann, who has been gone now for almost ten years.
As a child and teenager, I had plenty of struggles with my father, as many people have. Looking back now, a parent of many years myself, I have a better understanding of him. A greater appreciation.
As a young Christian, I found it easy to look down my nose at my father’s faith. But, this is what I know for sure. Along with my mother, my father made sure we attended church every week. I can still hear his clear sweet voice singing hymns on the pew to my right.
Dad lost most of the strength in his left arm, due to polio. But he never let that stop him from performing the daily, hard work necessary as a farmer.
Farming was a strenuous job, but he loved it. We would drive to look at crops newly sprung up, and I remember him saying, “Isn’t that pretty?”
He’d watch young animals in their first frisky movements and say, “Cute isn’t it?”
My daughter Rebecca told me one of her best memories of her Grandpa was his big smile. I laugh when I remember him doting over one of my babies, looking up, and saying, “Cute, isn’t it?”
My dad’s been dead for almost ten years, and for quite a few years before that, his health, physical and mental, had diminished. But I thank God for the lovely memories I have of my daddy.
When I was a young girl, and he and I were alone in the car, he would sing with me. He taught me songs such as “Liza Jane,” “Someone’s in the Kitchen with Dinah,” “mare-zee-dotes,” and “You get a line and I’ll get a pole, Honey.”
As a little girl Daddy found me crying because I’d broken the head off one of my dolls. Comforting me in the best way he knew he said, “Mom can fix it.” (Poor Mom)
Two days after Murray and I eloped, my parents came to visit us. Daddy told Murray he wanted to come see me, because, he reminded Murray, I was his daughter.
I didn’t get to visit my dad on his 80th birthday—February 29, 2008—but my mom and brothers did, and Mom told me about it.
Keeping up with the jokes that went around every time he had an actual birthday, Daddy told staff at the nursing home, “I’m only twenty; I’m younger than you.”
So, though sometimes my memories seem dim, I thank God for the privilege of the father I had, and I thank him for these sweet memories.