Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Story About My Father
I've been missing my Dad. And I remembered something that happened while he was so sick with the cancer. Before I tell that story, I thought I'd write a little about his life.
Dad was born in Cleveland county, the second of three children. Life was hard back in the 1930's, especially in rural areas. Everyone had to do their part, and he worked hard as a child. One day when he was around 7 years of age, his mother left him and his siblings, at her parent's house, and drove away in a car with a man who was not their father. My Dad never saw her again. It has been speculated that she intended to return to collect her children and my grandfather didn't allow her to see them. No one really knows exactly why she left, or if she intended to leave them permanently. She never spoke of it to her family except to say she loved all her children. Those three included.
My grandfather remarried, and my Dad believed his stepmother to be an angel who rescued them from hell. His life after my grandmother left, was something out of a novel. He was known later to say that Marine boot camp was a picnic after his childhood. His two siblings made peace with their mother, and her subsequent children by her second husband, but my Dad never did. The hurt ran too deep. I was fortunate enough to meet her one day, while visiting Dad's sister. I didn't realize the importance of that meeting. Now it breaks my heart that I didn't pay more attention to her. But I was a young teenager spending time with my cousins and that was my focus. Not a lady who I knew was related to me, but I'd never met.
In the year of 1997, I was in the middle of some intense family history research. I found and contacted my grandmother's side of the family and was able to convince my father to meet his siblings. I regret I didn't started earlier, because my grandmother passed away that very year. But, before my father became so terribly ill, he was able to gather with his two full siblings, and four of his half siblings.
My aunt told us about when my grandmother was in the hospital. Granny (as my cousins told me she was called) told them that angels were sitting on the shelf in her hospital room. No one but she saw them, but she kept trying to look around her children standing in the room, to get a better view.
While my Dad was so terribly ill with his cancer one day, he believes an angel sat on his shoulder and told him to, in essence, let go because everything was going to be ok. From that time on, he came to grips with his impending death.
I believe in Angels. The Bible is very firm on their existence. I'm thankful that God sends them to comfort us in times of great hardship, whether we see them or not. At this point, I think it might be scary to see one, but I have to believe they have the power to comfort and calm us when we do see them.