The small English Tudor with its cracked front sidewalk, worn-out steps, over-grown grass and broken garage door had always brought me so much peace and contentment. Dad’s airstream trailer stood stately beside the run down back porch and greeted me each time I turned into his driveway. Delavan Lake was a short distance down the hill, its polluted water and smelly algae attacking the shore. Even this didn’t deter me from coming. The turning of dad’s old skeleton key told me I was entering a safe and beautiful place.
I can still feel dad’s aura as I walk from room to room. I can almost see his presence as vividly as my own. His favorite hymn, “How Great Thou Art” echoes in my ear as it does each and every time the congregation sings it in mass.
I can see his beloved wife accompanying him on her grand piano in their living room, her wrinkled hands moving fluently over its cracked and worn keyboard. Memories of Molly, my youngest, pounding the piano,one key at a time; Irma patiently letting her join her, flashed before my eyes.
My father’s handwriting was beautiful. I would only have him sign my report cards because I was so proud of his penmenship. I remember the words he wrote in my bible at eleven years of age. “Today you followed your Lord and Master in biblical baptism. May He be your guide and a light upon your path so that you may live with love and service to others.” Yes, my father not only lived his faith, but was remembered by his faith from those who knew him.
God spoke to me in that house, in the warmth of the morning sun. I could almost feel his touch as He reached out to me in my hopelessness and despair. God saw hope, and He brought it back to me. It came through recovery, and learning to serve others besides myself.
Today I walk beside Him, in faith and trust in His promises for me. Even in death, God provides for our needs. I understand now what Dad was trying to tell me.
Thank you Father, for giving me hope; for allowing me to reach out to those that need help because as I learned that day, it is only by servicing others that we are able to take the focus off ourselves.
It is not simple, it is not easy, but it is the answer we all so desperately seek.