Wednesday, April 09, 2008

To know your Father....

Hey blogging buddies- I have missed you too. Thanks for the “kind” emails reminding me to blog J I have been over the activity limit in “doing” lately so trying to catch up.

Every free night from church except for Monday Nights (family night) we go up to John’s Mom’s House to clean it out. Forty years of living in one house has a tendency to snowball things. Add this to laundry, girls, homework, church work etc it has been a tad bit much lately J. I might also add in the kindest of ways that she did not like to throw out anything so there is quite a lot to go through. On the positive note- My sister in law Penny is a thrower-outer so this helps.

When I married John I knew that his Dad died when he was 8. Penny was 6. They have little memories of their Dad. Their Dad was about 20 years older than their Mom. So for the past 11 years in knowing John and 10 years of marriage I probably could fill a ½ a sheet of notebook paper (double lined) with knowledge of August Nickel my Father in law whom I have never met.

Last night we got to the room which was his “office”. It is tucked away in the back of the house behind another add on room. As I headed into his “office” I realized that my Nancy Drew instincts had kicked in- and I was trying to glean anything about him from what had been in that room 30 years. I found that he loved the ham radio, that he loved to collect stamps, and that he worked for Eastern Airlines in their telecommunications department. (Which is wild as John is an electrical engineer for Alltel wireless). That he had big strong block handwriting, and his desk was in tack that way he had left it. Now mind you John’s Mom had since added piles and piles and boxes, and baskets of stuff around it. The Madame Alexander Dolls in boxes, The Mork and Mindy Dolls, the Elvis dolls, the Marilyn Monroe dolls, the craft supplies, and the long time misplaced Christmas card etc. We found them all.

As I looked for “clues” about this man I realized- he was private- and was really in his own world. To see the details, the note taking, the ham cards- it all represented hours that he was back there logging, cataloguing, and putting his things in order. What was left? His stuff was in order- but I didn’t know him. I found his Eastern Airlines briefcase- but don’t know who he had worked with. I found the papers he signed on the house- but don’t know how he felt when he bought that home for his family. I don’t know if he hands were smooth or rough, what he liked to eat, what he smelled like, how he laughed. I saw his habits, his likes, his ways- but I don’t know the man.

I thought about my Father. I have so many details of him in my mind (for he is wrestling with Mom and the girls for the number 2 position in my life) that it just spills out. I reference him in my stories, I act like him, I can talk to anyone just like him. I love to laugh- I can hear his laugh in my ears. I love his creativity, his mischievous ways, his wisdom, his caring attitude to everyone he meets, that way that he makes you feel like you are the most important person in the room. I know him. And some days like today when he is far away in Brazil- I can close my eyes and see his crooked smile.

Which “Father” represents your relationship with your heavenly father? My relationship with Him? Do I know him- but only by the facts and not his voice? Have I read his book- but couldn’t really point him out in a crowd? The Bible that I have memorized since I was a child- do I live it? Do I bring him honor? Or just do what people tell me to do? Do I really want to get to know him?

Paul said- That I may know him- and then he added and the fellowship of his suffering. I think there is a knowing and then there is a knowing. The past few months I have gotten to know him on a different level. I have felt his hands, heard his voice, felt his nearness, followed hard after him-even in the alone time, the awkward times, the hurting times. I am not where I want to be for sure- but I think I know him a little more. I haven’t even scratched the surface- but I can’t get enough of Him.

So about 180 bags of trash later- I stop- dust the mouse droppings off of my head (yes I about scalded my skin off while showering last night) and say. Guys- I am ready to go home. This house will be here tomorrow. I smile as I drive home –knowing that the hardest room in the house has been conquered- one bag at a time. Now-onto the car-port!

1 comment:

Jim and Linda Poitras said...

Interesting post! And I learned a little more about your father. He is certainly mischievous. I always laugh when I think of the time I wanted to purchase a beautiful digital globe scene for GATS and he sent me this ugly school globe picture with an e-mail, "I think this has potential!" I had no idea how to respond; and no clue whether he was serious or playing.