Wednesday, February 15, 2017

A Love Story

There was never a doubt when I was growing up that my parents loved each other. Darling, Honey, and Sugar were frequently used when they spoke to each other. They always kissed good morning
and good night and were constantly saying "I love you". They held hands like school kids while we were out shopping in the mall.

Sweet memories come to mind when I think of their love for each other. Daddy served a tour in Vietnam in the early 70's. Momma and us kids wrote letters almost daily to him and he wrote often to us.  As the time got closer for him to come home, his letters even had a little picture on the envelope with numbers on it counting down the days.

On the day Daddy returned, my Momma, my sister and I all got our hair done. You know, the big puffy bouffant kind of hair do with a whole can of hairspray on it!! My brother got a new little outfit, baby blue, with the cute white knee socks. We were at the airport anxiously staring at the sky looking for that plane to come in view. There we were.  All dressed to the nines in our new outfits and fresh hair dos.  Momma had an extra splash of perfume was called Persion was by Avon!!  I can close my eyes and still smell that sweet aroma of Momma's perfume.  When Daddy's plane landed and he got to the bottom of those steps, Momma flew into Daddy's arms and they both wept. Not because they were sad...but because of their great love for each other. My memory replays that beautiful scene like an old movie.

Many years later, and many more precious memories later, a tear rolled down Daddy's cheek the day we buried Momma. I knew his heart was broken.

Time does heal broken hearts.  A few years had passed when I noticed a new spring to my Daddy's step and a little smile that often crossed his face. love...and a new marriage.  Several years into their marriage, Daddy and I were staying the night in the hospital waiting room because his new bride, Wilma, had open heart surgery. Daddy was beside himself...but yet, He had a calm peace because He knew the Lord was in control of it all. Her surgery was over and she was stable, but Daddy wasn't going to leave his bride alone at the hospital. You see, my Daddy was the most faithful, loyal person I've ever known.  He loved my Momma, but oh, how he loved Wilma, too.  He used to say he was the most fortunate man for God to have given him two such wonderful women to love!

In the wee hours of that night, Daddy and I began to do some middle of the night pondering. He began recounting he and Wilma's trip to Washington DC. He told me of visiting the Korean War and the Vietnam Memorials. Knowing that must have been emotional for him being a veteran of both wars, I asked him how he felt. As he began to tell the story of seeing his friends' names on that wall, I saw his eyes leak a tear or two.

For the first time ever in my life, my dad began to tell me about his tours in Korea, Libya, and Vietnam. He shared about the horrors he saw, the fears he had, and the friends he lost...the trials he faced, and the sacrifices given. The tears leaked from both of our eyes at that point. In those moments, I was ever so thankful that the Lord spared my Daddy and I knew I had seen love in every tear Daddy shed.

In 1st John, chapter 3, verse 16, we are told "By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers." The passage goes on in the next chapter, verse 7, to say "Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God."

"God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.
Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other."

‭‭1 John‬ ‭4:9-11‬ ‭NLT‬‬

You know by now from joining me in my ponderings, that I loved my Daddy very much. That is probably even an understatement!! Daddy was such a great example of pure, selfless love. He gave from his heart...always. Yes, I saw love in my Daddy's actions, but oh my...My Heavenly Father demonstrates it to me...and for you...even more so.

That, my friends, is a love story.