In addition to being employed in the oilfield, my father was the only shoemaker for miles around, and people came from everywhere to have shoes made or repaired. And he made shoes for me. I was the only little girl in our village who had a pair of shoes to match every dress. I still love shoes to this day.
I think my father enjoyed working in his workshop. We would hear him singing while he pounded his leather, or sewed on the machine, but whenever I went into his shop, he would have the newspaper waiting. He wasn't a storyteller like my mother, but he loved to read. He would point to an article and say, "Read that." After I'd read the article, he would have me spell some words. To this day, I remember his favorite word was "circumstances." By the time I was eight, I could spell that and many other "big words."
I loved going out with my father. He took me to church and other places. I don't remember him having a lot of friends, though. His work, his shoemaking business and his family consumed his life. Then one Sunday morning - I remember it well - my mother woke me to tell me that Daddy had died. I ran into their bedroom and saw my father stretched out on the bed, eyes closed, looking very much like he was sleeping.
Dead? I threw my arms around his neck. His body was still warm. He couldn't be dead. People were coming to the house and saying things to my mother and to me, but I didn't listen to them. How could Daddy be dead? He'd worked in his shop during the day, and in our little store the night before until late. I had stayed with him, while my mother baked bread and did the other things she usually did on Saturday nights. An intoxicated man had come to the store, acting silly, and my father had escorted him to the road and told him not to come back. Daddy knew how to handle unruly people.
Even though I am now much older, there are times when I wish I still had my parents, to drink from their fountain of wisdom and love. Still, I thank God for the sweet memories I have of my father, and even though he was with me for such a short time, he helped to shape the person I am today. I believe I acquired my love for reading and my spelling ability from those times when Daddy had me read and spell words from the newspaper.
Meanwhile, I have my Heavenly Father watching over me and providing me with all the shoes and whatever else I need. For those of you who still have your dad, thank God for him everyday, and let him know how much you love him. If you don't have a relationship with your father, you can still pray that God will bring you two together, because God does not like division.
God setteth the solitary in families: he bringeth out those which are bound with chains: but the rebellious dwell in a dry land. Psalm 68: 6
My prayer for you this Father's Day is that you will enjoy a wonderful day with your earthly father, if you have one, as well as with your Heavenly Father.