Actually, today is a super day for me because, had he lived, today would have been my father’s 82nd birthday. He was born back on March 10, 1938, and lived until January 23, 2000. But I still mark this day on my calendar and honor my father’s memory for the special man he was.
When he was born, the great depression was slowly concluding. But the effects of its coming to an end would take much longer to be felt in rural Georgia than they were in urban America. He grew up with very little luxuries. In truth, most all he knew was work, work, and more work.
When he turned ten, it was 1948; and America was shifting to a post-war economy. That was the year his own father finally stopped sharecropping and bought his own farm. My father was in the 4th grade that year, and missed much school to help out on the family farm. He would go to quit school outright in the 10th grade because he was to be told that he would have to repeat it since he had missed so many days while out working on that same farm.
Thus, by 1958, my father had been out of school for four years. He was gainfully employed as a truck driver, and had been married to my mother for one year. She had insisted they wait until she did graduate High School in 1957.
When 1968 rolled around, my father (and mother) had two children (my older sister and me). He was employed at a lumber yard and heavily involved in our local Southern Baptist church, where he served as both a Deacon and as Superintendent of the Sunday School.
Ten years later, in 1978, his older two children (my sister and me) were in high school; and he and my mother now had a third child (my younger sister). He had also gone into business for himself, hauling dirt and gravel for construction projects.
By 1988, all three of his children were married; and he had four grandchildren. He had also gone to work in the funeral business, where he would remain employed all of his life. Although he did not know it at the time, he was two years away from a heart attack, resulting in heart surgery with seven by-passes!
When another ten years had passed, and 1998 arrived, my father had eight grandchildren, and was planning for his own retirement in two short years. He put his farm up for sale, and planned his move to Alabama to retire on the lake. Sadly, a month and a half before his 62nd birthday in the year 2000, he died suddenly of a second, massive heart attack.
His life of 61 years was not necessarily a long one by today’s standards. But he still managed to live a full life. He worked hard and raised a family. And he glorified God by the life he lived and the service he gave to the church.
I myself am thankful that he was my father. In many respects, so much of what I am today is due to him and the impact he had on me. As I approach my own retirement years, I reflect more and more on these very things.
I do not know how aware my father is of my present circumstances. I do not how much anyone in Heaven is aware of what all we face here on earth. (I suppose I will find out when I myself get there.) However, if my earthly father is looking down on me from above, I can only hope that he is pleased with what all I have accomplished in life. More importantly, I hope he is pleased with who I have become.
If he were still alive, this would be a super day as he would be celebrating his 82nd birthday. As it is, he is now celebrating life in another place in another world, where every day is a super day. And my strong suspicion is that he would not come back to this world even if he could.
Of course, whether my earthly father sees me or not, I know my Heavenly Father does! I know He watches over me today just as he has done every day of my life. And I hope He too is pleased with both who and what I am. That assurance alone makes this a super day, just as it does each and every day we live in His abundant care.
And for this reason, I join with the Psalmist (chapter 118, verse 24) and say: “This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it!”
SCRIPTURE SOURCE: https://biblehub.com/psalms/118-24.htm.