But he didn't make a big deal of it at all. I think he and Mom prayed together about the diagnosis, but either I was in my own little world or for some reason was not hearing it. Even way back then the "C" word was bad...probably worse than now. Dad had a portion of his bottom lip removed because of cancer... he also had some skin cancer in various spots. Mom would give his back an evening back wash and scrub, and cared lovingly for him, until her own malady (one with the same symptons of Alzheimer's but not diagnosed as that) made her the one who needed the care.
On this Father's Day, I want to remember how he was an example of a Dad who would bring JOY into a home.. The acrostic of J-O-Y meaning Jesus first, Others next and Yourself last was truly exemplified by my Dad..
Jesus first..... He loved God's Word, and had a lot memorized. He made sure we, as a family, had Bible reading and prayer before breakfast. He and Mom always prayed together before they settled in for the night. He had a burden for neighbors who didn't know the Lord. He started a Sunday School, and then helped get a church going where he would pastor. (How he found time to study, I don't know, but he would have his well worn Bible with him, even out in the fields, when he would take a little rest at noon with some lunch, and the warm jar of "ice" tea. that us kids would bring out to him.)
Others next... One thing for sure was the way he cared for his family. He would put long hours in as he put up hay for the winter for the cows. I remember our farm in Canada had a little of everything...cows, pigs, horses, chickens, a wheat field, a barley field, (oh, those stickers on the barley!) and yes, we grew oats, too, as well as the hay field, and then there were the trees to cut and let dry out so they could saw them up for wood for the fire throughout the long Canadian winters. Then the huge garden was plowed, planted and tended...(though after the plowing, the rest was mainly Mom's job, which she found was good for kids to learn character in pulling weeds and helping with the canning!) That quarter section of land really produced!
Others were the neighbors that he so willingly helped, and visited, too, despite his busy life.
Yourself last... Never did I see my Dad push himself forward. He was tall, quiet and loving. Just thinking of all this makes tears come to my eyes...I miss him!
Thank you dear Heavenly Father, for a Dad who made learning to love a Heavenly Dad so easy!