Memories of my father

My dad passed away last month. I took some time on this rainy Saturday afternoon in lockdown to jot down some of the memories I have of him. Thank you for reading…

  • One day when it was raining, my sister, Dad and I decided to have some fun. We raced around the backyard at our Brisbane house, cupping water in our hands from the gushing drain pipe and splashing each other. I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard!
  • Dad teaching me how to swim in the local pool, patiently waiting. He seemed so light-hearted in the water, doing silly tricks (which annoyed me at the time – but he always seemed happy there).
  • Dad teaching me to ride a bike, patiently steering me until I had confidence to do it on my own.
  • Dad leading us in regular family devotions. I struggled to focus when I was young, but when I got older I really appreciated his wisdom and insight – especially relating to the book of Proverbs when I was about 16-17.
  • My most precious memories of Dad were two times I was very emotional about my relationship with God. Both times I experienced a conviction of sin and my need for Jesus. One was at church in Brisbane, and the other, Sydney. The second time was at age 15, and it became a real turning point in my faith. A visiting preacher spoke vividly about the cross. I couldn’t stop crying after church, and Dad and another Elder talked me through the process of repentance and coming to faith. It was a powerful day for me, and Dad guided me gently through my emotions both times. He seemed so happy, and told everyone I’d become a Christian.
  • Dad was willing to go along with many of my creative endeavours, including filming a series of episodes of our own family version of Home & Away at Palm Beach NSW (where they actually film it). My show featured, him, mum and me as the actors.  Very embarrassing looking back, but he was always good sport. He played the role of Alf Stewart, and his acting was so convincing!
  • One of my funniest memories of Dad is the time at McDonalds in Upper Mt Gravatt, when Dad’s expressive arm movements while talking caused him to knock over his entire coffee on the floor. The staff came to mop it up and gave him a new coffee on the house. Only moments later, he knocked that coffee over as well.
  • My sweetest memories have been in Dad’s later years when his dementia took hold and I was able to read him stories from The Pilgrim’s Progress along with my sister, Neri. His simple love for Jesus shone through as we read and talked. This reminded me of the greatest gift Dad could’ve given me: a knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Love you, Dad. See you in heaven.

Ali

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