I have a friend who has a childlike wonder. I’ll call her Jenny. Jenny’s childhood was tough — really tough. Her adulthood is, too, but somehow she has kept that childlike wonder.
I like blue and white dishes. One day Jenny stood looking at some of the ones I have picked up here and there. She wondered where I had gotten them. I told her about this one and that one. “I paid a quarter a piece for these at a garage sale,” I said, as I pointed out one from a set of three little bowls. I picked up a blue and white box from Cracker Barrel. I showed her the three dried rosebuds that are inside and the story behind them.
About seventeen years ago, my daddy started coming to our house when my mother went out of town for conferences with her Family and Community Education Club. The last time he came was in November of 2003. One day during that visit, Daddy and I were walking through Walmart. Impulsively, he reached inside a cooler and pulled out a small bouquet of roses and handed them to me. When we checked out, he paid for them.
As far as I can remember, it was the only bouquet of flowers Daddy ever gave to me. I decided not to throw the bouquet away, but to save the dried rosebuds. I’m thankful I did. For fifteen years, they have been tucked away in my little blue and white box.
A few days after Daddy gave me those flowers, Ray asked me what I would like to do on my birthday. I said that I would like to drive the two hours to Ashland City to see my parents. “Who gets to spend their fiftieth birthday with their parents?” I commented. We had a nice visit and we took this photograph of the three of us together.
I had no idea on that December 2 that Daddy would go to heaven a few days before Christmas. Looking back, I wonder if Daddy knew somehow.
As I told Jenny the story of my little blue and white box, she told me, “I didn’t know my father.”
One day Jenny and I were talking about “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.” She watched it as a young child. What she remembers is Mister Rogers being a nice man. She said that the adults in her life were not nice. They were drinking and stuff like that.
As your children grow up, you have the opportunity:
- To be there,
- To be nice, and
- To live your life in such a way that bad habits don’t prevent you from being there and being nice.
Thank you for taking your parenting seriously.
Let all that you do be done in love.
1 Corinthians 16:14