Saturday night on the way to prayer meeting, I asked the boys what they'd like to do to honor Daddy on Father's Day. After much discussion with many ideas, we decided first thing was new flowers at the roadside memorial and at Daddy's grave. So after prayer meeting, we shopped. We found pretty arrangements for the roadside memorial and then each boy picked out an individual flower for Daddy's grave. As we drove toward home, it was decided that we'd be adventurous and put the flowers out tonight even though it was dark, because tomorrow we'd be in our nice church clothes and shoes. Then it began to rain and the closer we got to the roadside memorial, the harder it rained. I questioned the boys if they really wanted to do this, and they did. I pulled off the road so our headlights shined partially down in the ditch. We came up with a game plan to get the task done as quickly and efficiently as possible. Then after several cars and a heavy down pour, we leaped from our vehicle and scurried down the side of the road. As I ran in the darkness, I shouted, "We sure love you, Daddy!" Then we went down into the high grass of the ditch and finally reached our destination. We all worked together and gathered up the faded and weather-worn flowers and set up our new arrangements. Then we scurried through the chest-high sea of grass and back up the side of the ditch. Once on the shoulder of the road again, we sprinted hand in hand back to the vehicle. Laughter and the smell of soaked clothes and wet hair filled our vehicle as I turned up the heat. "We are crazy!!" Snipp said smiling. And the boys chattered all the way home about our adventure as lightning streak across the sky.
Since we were already wet, we stopped at Promise Land Cemetery and each of the boys put out their flowers they had picked out : orange Calla Lillies, white roses, and a single large blue rose. Again we gathered up faded weather-beaten flowers to throw away.
Sunday morning we drove by the cemetery and roadside memorial to see our handiwork. They looked beautiful in the sunlight. Snipp shared later that he felt the tears come as we drove by the roadside memorial with the DAD flower arrangement. Understandable..........that word is more personable than his father's name that's written on the cross. (Reminds me of when we made a sign that said MY HONEY, OUR DADDY and put it by Jim's grave. Snipp was 5 then and had stopped calling Jim Daddy but was using his name instead. "Because I wish it was someone else's daddy,"he had told me. "I wish it wasn't my honey either," I had said. Then we made the sign to remind us of reality. And Snipp stopped calling his dad Jim and just called him Dad or Daddy again. )
Church went well. Little Snurr made a card that said, "I love you, Dad! You are a winner!" and had a little metal taped in it that said winner with a star.
After church, we did Daddy's tradition of getting cheese sticks from Pizza Hut then we headed to the place where Daddy would go on his lunch breaks and read his Bible. We had a nice picnic there.
As we travelled home, boys got ornery with each other and I knew we all needed a nap before we had the next adventure: get out the slip-n-slide.
After nap time, which I needed just as much or more than the boys did, we got out the slip-n-slide which was a birthday gift to me from a sweet friend. She had said, "Have fun with the boys. Make a memory" And we did. I finally got up courage and went down it three times.
We took Daddy's Bible to Sunday evening service as we sometimes do. Snapp took out Daddy's picture and looked at it alot. During the sermon, there was some behaviour issues with the boys. Then afterward church, while the boys played outside tempers flared, voices got whiny, and the stress of the day was showing in the boys. I just wanted to get them home. But as we piled in the vehicle, I felt God prompting me to go get ice cream. "After their behaviour? They don't deserve ice cream." I argued. MERCY was the answer spoken to my heart. So I headed to DQ. The boys asked me several times where I was going when I didn't turn toward the home. "Mercy" was all I said. As we pulled into the drive through, I heard the boys humbly getting right with each other and apologizing for their meanness to each other. Sweet. So we headed home cool ice cream and I reminded them of how sometimes on the way home from church, Daddy had gotten dishes of chocolate ice cream too.
We arrived home to our yard full of lightning bugs and the boys ran and caught several. Then Snurr caught two toads. The big one kept getting out of every contain we tried to keep him in. Finally, we moved inside and tried him in the tub. Ha! He couldn't escape! So the two toads were allowed to spend the night in the tub. We then snacked, had devotions, and read some more of Lassie Come-Home.
Again as time and Jesus heals our hearts, we had more smiles than tears on this day when the world points out that we have our Daddy missing. Repercussions will come. Tears will fall. We will draw in our daddy journals and share and hug. God Word says "he makes everything beautiful in his time." And we are seeing glimpse of that more and more, the longer we travel this journey.