Posted by: Walk.Build.Proclaim | June 16, 2013

A Father’s Legacy

I am so excited to formally introduce our readers to my good friend and editor Beth Lee. Beth

It took me quite some time to convince Beth to write something for Walk.Build.Proclaim.  I am thrilled beyond words that she chose to share some memories of her Father with us as we celebrate Father’s this week.

“The father of one

who is right with God
will have much joy.
He who has a wise son
will be glad in him.”  –Proverbs 23:24

Father’s Day is a time to honor and hopefully celebrate all fathers, those with us and those have passed into eternal life. It may not be your own father, maybe you honor and celebrate somebody else’s father, like your grandfather or a great uncle. At our house, Father’s Day is a big deal. I have twin 12 year old boys, and every year the boys either make or are very thoughtful about the gifts they give to honor their father.

My father died in December of 2007. Since we are members of the church where he is buried, we visit him often. Likely, we will stop by after services on Father’s Day. Just before Memorial Day I brought him some red, white, and blue flowers to place on his grave that we leave for the summer. He was a Vietnam Vet and a man who loved his country.

This is a picture of my dad in Vietnam. He wrote on the back that it was taken DaLat (circa the early 1960’s):

Dad Vietnam

My dad was one tough cookie. He was an old country boy, for sure. He grew up on a farm, and hunted on his way to and from school.  We are grateful that he is buried out in the country at the top of a hill, and has a great view of several farms. I think it is a good spot for him.

While he was a serious guy, at the end of his life, he had mellowed out tremendously. When my oldest nephew (now 21) was little, my father bought him a bb gun and taught him to shoot. Later, he took him hunting. By the time my twins were born ten years later, he wasn’t able to hunt any longer. But, when Jack and Justin were in pre-school, he used to make them paper hats out of the newspaper. Sometimes one wasn’t enough, and the twins would have him make them several hats in one day.

Even later, he used to play Barbie’s and have tea parties with my niece, who was only four when my father died.  But, all his grandkids had different, but good memories of my father, which is important to me; I want him to be remembered by them, even though he wasn’t in their lives long.

While I often think of my dad, I will take some time to remember him in church on Father’s Day, along with my husband, my grandfathers, my husband’s grandfather, and my father in law. Some of those men who have passed on, some we are still celebrating. So, I wish all the fathers a happy Father’s Day. It is a tough job, so it is important to be remembered.

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Gary Neal Hansen

Theology. It's good for you.

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