Sunday, June 23, 2013

Quote of the Day:   “I knew my father had done the best he could, and I had no regrets about the way I'd turned out. Regrets about journey, maybe, but not the destination.” ― Nicholas Sparks

Last Sunday was Father's Day and I wrote about my father-in-law, so this week I will write about my own father.  Dad didn't finish high school but he read and studied all his life and was a very intelligent man.  He started working as a paint salesman at a Sears store in Houston and stayed with Sears for over forty years working his way up and up until he was the manager of multiple stores at the same time in Corpus Christi, Texas.  When I was small he was with management in Dallas and then got his own store in Victoria, Texas, then to Midland, Texas, where he opened (in 1958) the first Sears in a shopping center.  After that, to Alexandria, Louisiana, and finally to Corpus Christi, Texas.  When people hear that I have learned a new language to help serve God, when they hear that I am helping worker's children go to school, and that I am overly generous to those in need--it's because of my father.  When he was sent to Corpus Christi, he began learning Spanish so he could talk to the men who worked on the loading dock.  He had sent janitor's kids to college, and had always given financial help to those who needed it.  Those are the genes I got.  During the Great Depression, he was once hungry and homeless in Alabama and was taken in by an African-American woman and her church who fed him and gave him bus money to get to Houston where my mom who was not my mom yet was waiting.  He never forgot that, and many years later went back and gave a large cash donation to the church that had helped him.  When he died, he established a scholarship at Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas, not in his own name, but in the name of a pastor that he admired.  That was my father, and I am what I am because he was what he was.  As Nicholas Sparks says above, I may have some regrets about the journey, but none about the destination.  He took us to church every week--didn't send us--took us.  I am where I am and who I am primarily because of who my father was and how he treated those around him.  May he rest in the everlasting arms of the Savior and receive his reward for his good and faithful service.
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