February 16, 2013
How To Build A Playhouse
I heard the car door slam,
and immediately looked a the clock.
As I ran to the door I couldn’t help noticing
The giant box on the car roof!
Whatever could it be?
Lots of ropes wound about it
And clearly there was nothing in it,
Or so I thought.
An empty wooden crate?
As Daddy struggled to remove it,
I saw his excited smile
And knew it was not just an empty crate at all,
But one filled with his love for me!
I was right!
By Martha L Shaw – © 2-16-2013
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September 25, 2012
Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love – Mother Teresa –
Think about our lives on a typical day. We don’t change the world. We don’t solve the economic crisis or find a way to world peace, or to cure the common cold. Yet, some do small things with great love as the quote suggests. My late father was one of them. Daddy died a few years back on 9-26 and tomorrow marks the anniversary once more. Daddy never finished school, yet he learned more than most of us by caring to do small things well. He was my hero and not just mine but the hero of most whom he ever met.
Daddy called everyone “Pal” and truly felt everyone was his friend. If anyone was in trouble he’d offer a hand or a word of encouragement. I can recall his going outside and Mom wondering where he’d gone off to. Sometimes, he’d go into the woods and find something to transplant to make the yard look good when Mom looked out the window. Other times he’d hear someone working on a car and grab a few tools and go see if he could help get it started. He was good at that. Didn’t go to fancy schools to learn, but simply bought old cars and learned how they worked and with little money for fancy things or high-priced shops to fix things, he just learned how to do it. He shared what he learned.
He could fix a leaky roof or kitchen sink. He could put a doll’s leg back on when it broke off. He could make a cut on my knee better and dry my tears. He knew just when to pat my shoulder or give a sudden hug. He didn’t know fancy words. He didn’t need them. Not long before his final illness, he and Mom had a “big” anniversary and I made them tee shirts with pictures on them from their wedding day all those decades before. I took them out to dinner at a favorite local place. You know the sort, where everyone knows everyone else? He got up and walked all over the place even into the kitchen so he could show everyone “the shirt my daughter made me.” He pointed to the picture on the front, too. He had Parkinson’s and didn’t move about easily as a rule, but that night he managed. Everyone shared his joy.
At the end he was bed ridden and in the days before he passed, he couldn’t really talk. He couldn’t really do anything anymore. He could barely move at all, yet as Mom and I stood at his bedside, he saw us and did his best to make he weak facial muscles, stiff from the disease, form a smile. I saw Mom’s hand on the side of his bed and noticed him focus on her hand. I saw a look on his face and watched him with great effort slowly nudge that right hand a fraction of an inch at a time and it took quite some time for him to move his hand a few small inches to where her hand lay. He finally made it across the distance and clasped her hand. Twenty minutes to move 3 or 4 inches. ” . . . small things with great love.”
I love you Daddy!
May 28, 2012
I am certain that my relationship with the Lord today was influenced strongly by my Memorial Day hero, my Dad.
This is Daddy’s Navy picture when he was only 18 years old. Is he cute or what? Long before I understood what a personal relationship with the Lord was all about, I knew the immeasurable love of Daddy, my Daddy. I knew it was unconditional, all-encompassing, and was certain I could take anything to him. I was unshakable in my belief that he could fix anything. Dad was sick for a long time before he went to be with Jesus and even in those last days, that love still showed. Hardly able to move or to speak, he managed to still take care of Mom and I, no matter what painful effort it took. You can understand, I think, why I see a connection between my adoration of my Daddy and my adoration of my Lord. Anything I need to say, I can take to Him. I can always count on a hug when I need one or simply because He loves me, and He can fix anything. Love you Daddy!
August 22, 2011
Just driving down the street to fill my car with gas the other day brought tears to my eyes as memories of my Dad came flooding back to me. The anniversary of his death is coming near. My Dad was my hero but not because he invented something world changing and not because he discovered a cure for the common cold. My Dad was a country boy. In my eyes he could do anything. He found joy in simple things and taught me to do so as well. He always had a smile, a laugh, a hug. As I drove down the street with my car windows open, I saw a bit of smoke in the air and heard the crackling sounds of a brush fire well controlled in the neighbor’s yard and smelled that oh so familiar smell. The smoke didn’t bring tears to my eyes, though. It was the memories from long ago.
One of my favorite memories is really just a small thing and yet I can remember it so well now as decades have passed and I am that 6 year old again. I can hear the sounds from that day long gone, can smell the aromas that marked the day, and feel the textures. Daddy was out in the yard raking leaves. We had lots and lots of them as the yard and neighborhood were filled with trees and it was autumn. The lovely colors were turning to rust as the leaves dried out and fell from the trees and he had a huge pile of them ready to burn. I watched. I can hear the squeak of the rake against the hard earth. I can hear the crunch of the branches and dried brush under my feat. I watched from the stairs as the pile grew higher and higher. Finally Daddy was satisfied with his progress and went into the cellar to get a hose and some matches to burn the leaves and put out the fire. As he disappeared from view, I saw my opportunity
Jumping up from my watchful spot on the stairs, I ran to the pile of leaves and leaped into the pile! As I did, the leaves flew into the air and I landed on the soft pile and then leaped up again and again! Each time I landed back down into the soft, dry leaves, I swung my arms about me and giggled with joy as the leaves flew higher and higher into the air then fell back to land on my nose, in my hair, and scattered about the yard! It seemed to me at the time that Daddy must have been having trouble finding that hose because I had plenty of time to leap for joy in the pile of leaves! Looking back, I am older now than my Daddy was then and I know he must surely have been standing nearbv and watching me. Maybe he was remembering the small boy he used to be and remembering my Grampa doing what he was doing.
Daddy had to do a lot of the raking all over again after my time spent playing with the pile of leaves was over. I remember it all so well. I don’t recall getting scolded, though, nor even frowned at. I only recall the grin on Daddy’s face as he came from around the corrner of the yard carrying the hose and box of matches. I can hear his laughter even now.
I love you, Daddy!
August 20, 2011
If your childhood was anything like mine, you will recall collecting colorful Autumn leaves, jumping in piles of them, and maybe getting gently scolded for having bits of dry brush on your clothing and in your hair. If so, this post on my Open Salon Blog will bring back happy memories for you and I invite you to pop over by clicking the link. Here are some photographs of New England’s colorful Fall leaves.