Christmas has come and gone for another year. The big project for me began just four weeks ago when I found Dad's first journal in the attic at my parent's house. After reading it myself, I knew it needed to be copied and shared with my family.
Christmas is really about Christ and how the God of the Old Testament loved us so much that He clothed Himself in human flesh, was born in a stable, grew and sacrificed Himself on our behalf. Along our way through life, He is there. Sometimes He walks quietly alongside us and other times He makes Himself known in ways so obvious that it is impossible to deny He is there. Such was the case with Dad's journal.
I spent many evenings deciphering words on the pages, written sometimes in pencil so light I had to squint to see it. When the copying was complete I found I missed those evenings spent with my fifteen year old father. He loved the Irondequoit Bay, spent many days working on a farm, and woke up late for school more often than early. He shared hopes and dreams as well as frustrations and heartbreak. I came to know him in a new way.
I printed page after page of journal, folded and set them in order. There were last minute additions, like the ship he drew inside the front cover, and a few typos I missed (It says 2009 instead of 1947 in one entry). I left Dad's spelling errors in order to preserve the authenticity and here and there left my own italicized explanation of people and placed mentioned.
James stayed home on Wednesday to bind the pages together and make covers for eleven books. They turned out beautiful and we were able to give one to each of my children, both my sisters and my mom, and still have one for James and me.
I am grateful for a God who loves me so much that He gave us a Christmas present from Dad sixty-two years ago. He knew we would be blessed all these years later when we spent our first holiday without our precious earthly father.