Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Things of Value


This weekend, my husband and I spent the weekend with my eighty-five year old father. This was the first time I can remember that it was just the three of us. Here are some things I learned about my dad:

--He thinks the hymn, "Great is Thy Faithfulness" says it all:

Great Is Thy Faithfulness
Words: Thomas. O. Chisholm
Music: William M. Runyan

1. Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father;
There is no shadow of turning with Thee.
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not;
As Thou hast been Thou forever wilt be.

Refrain:
Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided
Great is Thy Faithfulness, Lord unto me.

2. Summer and winter and spring-time and harvest,
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above
join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.

Refrain

3. Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
Thy own dear presence to cheer and to guide,
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

Refrain

--There are many things of value in his house: two cast iron pieces, made in his dad's foundry and painted by his mother; a glass dish that was his great-grandmother's; his uncle's grade school slate; a few other things that he pointed out as we walked around his house Sunday morning. To a person coming into his house and looking around, these things would be nothing; to him, they hold the stories of his past.

--He has an incredibly extensive knowledge of the history of the city of Greensboro. We went through an advertising publication from the early nineteen hundreds and he knew all the names and businesses, where houses and factories were, whose family still lives around there and where they live. Some families' histories have to be clearer in his head than they are in family photo albums.

--He first saw my mother when she and her sister were getting off a school bus. He was in the navy. She worked after school at a shop on the boardwalk at Carolina Beach, and her boss let my dad stand at the counter and talk to her because he was willing to stand at the far end of the counter.

This isn't by any means all that I learned. Nor all that I could learn. His eighty-five year old brain is full of things that need telling.

2 comments:

trisha said...

What a beautiful tribute to your father and your love for him. I'm so glad you blessed your readers with his memories.

Gina Elizabeth said...

Mamie, your father's favorite hymn is one of mine as well. The lyrics are beautiful, as were the lines of your blog. There is so much to learn from people like your dad...he truly comes from 'the greatest generation'...and today's generation could learn a lot from a man like him. Sadly, I doubt any of us can value life the way he and others like him learned to value it...they have fought the greatest battles of war, poverty, and have witnessed our world lose a hold of the importance of family and simplicity. I appreciate so very much you blogging about this.