Written by: Suzanne Lawrence
A few weeks ago, Our daughter Mandy, who co-writes this Blog, asked me to write a tribute to my dad and how he impacted my life as a “Daddy’s girl”! I’ve never really thought of myself as a “Daddy’s girl”, as our dad always treated all 4 of us girls the same; None of us was any more special than the other. Maybe we were all “Daddy’s girls”, LOL! Anyway’s here goes…
Just a few memories of my dad:
He loved to garden: be it planting flowers of all kinds, mowing grass, pruning bushes or cutting trees,,and his most favourite being, planting his large vegetable garden, that seemed to grow larger every year. Every year he would say he wasn’t going to plant so much and every year it seemed to get bigger. He took great pride in his garden and loved to share it with family, friends and the Pastor’s of the church we attended. We all benefited from the fresh yummy vegy’s in the summer, the potatoes and carrots that lasted almost all winter and the pickles and preserves that were made to last the year. He was a hard worker all his life and enjoyed caring and providing for his family!
He LOVED to cook! He will always be remembered for his Turkey and homemade dressing, that “NO ONE” can copy. (My sister’s and I have tried to and have come pretty close, but still wasn’r dad’s). He knew just the right amount of potatoes, bread, butter, onions, salt,pepper BBQ spice and summer savory to add! It was DELICIOUS! Summertime it was a tradition for him to make cream soup out of the fresh vegy’s from his garden. I keep this tradition but cheat and buy the vegy’s from the valley. LOL. He loved to make something and coax someone to taste it. His words were; ”Come on , try it!, Just taste it!, You’ll like it!”. He even got my husband to eat sauerkraut salad one time, ( my husband hated sauerkraut), but Dad coaxed him and he loved it. LOL.
He worked as custodian at Faith Tabernacle for many years. To dad, this wasn’t just his job, this was “his ministry”. He always went above and beyond the call of duty. Often if someone dropped by the church and shared with dad a burden, he would pray with them. He believed in the power of prayer. He loved to go to early Sun. Morning prayer meeting and once a month Friday all night prayer meeting ( where at one of them my friend and I as teenagers were filled with the Holy Spirit). He often fasted and prayed about ‘something’ or ‘someone’ he was burdened for.
He absolutely LOVED to sing! A few of his favourites were, He Lives, In the garden, The old rugged cross, and i think his all time favourite was , How great thou art! Still, when that song is sung at church, we remember him with a smile or a tear. I can still hear him singing , “How great thou art” to the top of his voice at a church service. On a work day, you could stand in the foyer of the church listen and follow the humming, and you’d find dad. He always hummed as he worked, inside or out. He was happiest when he was working.
He loved his grandchildren and holding them on his lap with great pride. All the grandchildren loved it when Grampie sang “ the laughing song”. They would squeal with glee as he did the laughing part. He had great fun with them.
He loved his dog “Princess”, and taking her for walks. I think that’s what kept him going!
Last but not least, he loved our “MOM”. 55 plus years married , WOW! They proved , through good and bad times, God was Faithful!
In later years, dad took some mini strokes, that caused him to develop dementia. This eventually made him become very aggressive at times and made it unsafe for him to be able to live at home with our Mom. It was very hard placing him in a nursing home, but we all knew it was the best place for him to be safe and get the care he needed. Between my Mom, my sister Margie and myself, we all took turns through the week and someone was there, everyday to feed him one meal. We always took homemade treats, plain chips, cheeses, donuts or chocolate bars, (just a few of his favourites), everyday. Many times we would arrive there to find his teeth out and him unshaven. Dad always shaved, and that was something important to him. In fact when he was still living at home, he would forget and shave 3-4 times a day. I would cut his hair and clip his fingernails and toenails monthly. Many times he would be aggressive with us. Ex: one day we were visiting and our youngest daughter, Stephanie was feeding him and just out of the blue he punched her in the face. Mom, Stephanie and I all sat there and cried .Before this disease, dad would not hurt a flee, so it was very hard to see him act like this. Many a days we would leave the nursing home in tears. People would say:” Why do you bother going to see him like that ? ”My reply would be, just because he doesn’t always know us, we know him!” Dad always took great care of us as kids and teenagers, and now it was our turn to care and honour him. Not all the visits were bad. Often we would sit and sing hymns and chorses , which his favourite became ‘Jesus loves me”. Tears would sometimes roll down his face. I will always hold these special times near and dear to my heart. He forgot alot of things , but he always seemed to remember the words to songs, if you started them first. Often when entering the nursing home, we could hear him hollering: OH GAD! OH GAD! OH GAD! OH GAD!. I truly believe in his own way he was calling out to God. OH GOD! OH GOD! OH GOD OH GOD! .
On June 6, 2007, God called dad home to heaven!
“His master said to him! Well done, good and faithful servant,. You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your Maser’s happiness!
My dad knew his God and served him faithfully! We all miss him dearly and have the assurance that we will all meet again someday.” Matthew 25:21
Happy father’s day in Heaven Dad!!!!!
Suzanne Lawrence , lives in Hubley, N.S., with Bill; her best friend and husband, of 31 ½ years. She has 2 beautiful daughters who are married to great guys and together in total have 6 amazing grandchildren and # 7 on the way. She enjoys her work at a salon , in an assisted living complex in Bedford, N.S.. She ejoys encouraging people by cards or phone calls. She loves to cook, bake, clean and do laundry. She loves to serve her family , in any way possible, because charity starts at home. She attends Full gospel Church in Kearney Lake and has served God since the age of 12.