Kate thinks about her father.

A guest blog post from daughter Kate – on her first Father’s Day without her dad being a phone call away.

There was always so much anticipation in advance of our annual dispatch to the national parks. A week beforehand, the camping supplies would come out: neatly organized plastic bins of plastic dishes, tin mugs, clothesline and pins, lists of items to bring typed out by my mother. Tents would be aired out, lanterns checked, the inside of the van cleaned by my brother so that we could better enjoy 14 days inside. Sometimes we would ready travel journals, or books on tape to listen to on our journey. We always had song books to sing from as a family, and cribbage, and lots of reading material.

Underlying all of the preparation, for me, was the knowledge that I would soon go somewhere I had not been before – and the trust that if Papa was taking me there, it was special. I knew I was not born with the natural oneness with nature that my siblings seemed to have — I never had an urge to go backpacking, and the heat and altitude gave me headaches and a bad case of the whines. But my father’s quiet enthusiasm and intense love for the big spaces and cold lakes he took us to made me want to learn from him – to appreciate more of what was clearly so pure and satisfying.

Nature is honest. A mountain is nothing more or less than it pretends to be. It doesn’t tell you what you want to hear, or omit something for the sake of its image. It doesn’t worry about whether it is being understanding of the other mountains. It is.

I remember a Summer trip – I must have been in my early teen years, more emotional than I was comfortable with and stuck inside my own rationalizations of my ups and downs. We were listening to all of his — my — favorites. Chuck Berry sometimes bothered my mother; Bob Dylan pleased everyone, telling things simply the way they are, like my dad did. “You gotta serve somebody.” Natalie Cole was on, singing softly about smiles: “Smile, though your heart is aching / smile, even though it’s breaking.” I was probably singing along, in the [Glad] way. My father said quietly to me from the front seat: “I like this song. But when you are unhappy, [Kate], you shouldn’t force yourself to smile. It is okay to be sad.”

K w MG Silver L 90

15 thoughts on “Kate thinks about her father.

  1. Love and blessings to you, Kate and your whole family. This was so heart-rending and beautiful. Thank you for sharing your thoughts about your father who was and is clearly so special.

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  2. “…nothing more or less than it pretends to be…” as soon I stop stop crying, I may know what it is I long to say…but in the meantime I just send much love and thank you for your sharing (Kate), and tell you that I trust you will keep unpacking your father’s love all your live long days. I trust the guest author will be along to receive the well wishes that this beautiful tribute is bound to call forth.

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  3. Today before the Father’s Day lunch I asked if I might say grace today … among the words of thanks I asked God to please tell my dad Happy Father’s Day for me. He passed in 1980, my Jr. year of college. I still miss him … and … I like imagining him there with God. For me he “feels” less gone than he did at first. I carry him in my heart. Bless you precious girl!

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  4. It’s hard when dads graduate to heaven and family traditions change because of their absence. Yes, it’s okay to be sad. I, like DeAnn, get a lot of joy from imagining my dad and my husband spending this day with their heavenly Father. I’m excited to see them all in the future and for eternity! Blessings on the Glad family!

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  5. Kate ~~ I’m a friend of your mom’s from church. I loved reading this piece, especially your father telling you it was ok to have your sad emotions. I always felt that I had to be happy, witty, or a certain way in my family. What a special blessing your dad gave you.

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  6. How thankful you must be that Kate, and your other children, had a wonderful earthly father, and that their memories of him are priceless.
    His peace to you all. All these “firsts” can be tough going without His peace.

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  7. Thank you all for reading my memory and responding with comfort and prayers. I am amazed by how lucky we children were to have such a father.

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