Sunday, June 15, 2014

We Come From a Long Line of Love

We got a glimpse of the new normal today. It's Sunday, Father's Day, and one boy is in St. Louis and one boy is in Houston. We have known this day was coming. There's just not really enough preparing for it. I know it's normal. I know life goes on. I know it's a good thing they leave the nest. Yes, yes. We have been told all of this. We agree. It's just going to take a while for the heart to process what the head has acknowledged.

We made plans for the day for the two of us, and both of us headed into the day with a mind determined to enjoy the day and find some good in it, even though we were home alone. At some point this morning, Steve and I came to the same conclusion while we were at different places doing different things. I think that was a God gift - each of us working out to the same point on our own. 

See, our oldest son is working at eight different camps all over the country this summer. We will see him for the July 4 weekend and for the week before the fall semester starts. He is acting as a counselor to boys at camps, while recruiting for his college. Our youngest son left on Saturday for a week, working in Houston with a team from church, reaching out to refugees. Who could have known last year on Father's Day that it would not be the same this year? Who could have guessed that both boys would be away from home, leaving Father's Day traditions in the dust? Who could have known that when you truly give them roots, you also give them wings?

And that is sort of the realization I made this morning. If you think of Father's Day, and the whole art of raising children, and how a father molds and impacts his children in a way distinctly masculine, and totally different from a mother's love, there is no greater acknowledgement of maybe having done the job well than to have your children off serving. 

People love my husband. I've never argued with "the better half" statement. He is clearly the stronger people person in our partnership. My husband has an amazing servant heart. He is patient. He is thoughtful. He is kind. He is forbearing. He is insightful. He is careful, in the sense that he is full of care. He is funny. He is tender. He is generous. He is compassionate. He is contemplative. He is truly such a gift to  me. 

As the boys age, I love seeing the imprint of their dad on their hearts and how it has been shaping their lives. I believe it is only natural that both of my boys would be out in the world serving today when they have both witnessed from the front row their dad serving on a daily basis - to his family, to his co-workers, to his neighbors, to people at his church. When I ponder that Philip is out serving at youth camps and Andrew is out serving at a refugee camp, I am thankful that Steve has poured into our sons the seed of caring and serving. It has been a blessing to me to be a part of the team that has been nurturing those seeds and helping to water them.

We have had a good day. It's been different, but it's been good. Steve heard from both boys yesterday, and Andrew left a card and gift behind for today. We both have talked to our dads. We have spent time together today celebrating Steve, remembering lots of Father's Days gone by. He's done some of his favorite things - riding his bike, drinking coffee on the patio, seeing a movie, taking a nap, eating some seafood and having ice cream. It's been restful and relaxing. But, it has been different.

As I thought this morning about the boys being gone, out serving others, it made me realize that perhaps the best legacy a father can create is children that love to give to others and to serve others. As I contemplated that today, it brought to mind that it must mean that our fathers long ago felt the same way - that they were okay with us leaving the nest and sharing life with others. And then I remembered that old song by Michael Martin Murphy, "We Come From a Long Line of Love."

I bought a beautiful diamond ring I offered it to the sweetest thing I know
And she said she would take it
We started making some wedding plans she looked at me and she took my hand
And said are you sure we can make it
I said my grand dad's still in love with my grandma
I said my dad still thinks my moms the sweetest thing he ever saw

I come from a long line of love
When the times get hard we don't give up
Forever is in my heart and in me blood

You see I come from a long line of love

Years went by and we had a son now he thinks he found someone for him
And they're planning a wedding
He called me up on the phone today just to see what I had to say to him
Did I think he was ready?
I said what his grandfather used to say to me
Its been handed down for ages it runs in our family

You come from a long line of love
When the times get hard we don't give up

Forever is in your heart and in your blood
Son you come from a long line of love
We come from a long line of love

I guess we do. I know when the times get hard, we don't give up. I know forever is in our heart and in our blood. To my sons I would say today, "You come from a long line of love. We come from a long line of love." Happy Father's Day Steve. It's not just one day around here. It's never been just one day a year that I marvel at how you craft our boys to men. Every day I celebrate that you shine your light before our sons, showing them how to serve, how to love. 

Life with you, with them, through the years has been some kind of wonderful. I am thankful for you as a father and friend to our sons. Life will continue to be some kind of wonderful. When the times get hard, we don't give up. I love that we come from a long line of love.

Some Kind of Wonderful ~ Father's Day ~ June 2009
Paper: My Minds Eye

1 comment:

  1. Another lovely layout, and more importantly, another lovely story. What a legacy! Steve may pass down the service but you will pass down the stories.