Sunday, June 20, 2010

A Different Kind of Day

Words elude me tonight... I am thankful today for a wedding anniversary to distract me from the ache that otherwise most certainly would have set in. I am thankful for my dear husband and the twenty-nine years we have spent together, there is no question about that, but a first Father's Day without a father cannot help but be a little bit emotional. This year James and I are both without our fathers.

When my dad was sick, I decided there was one thing that I wanted to tell him while he was still here. I didn't want him to pass on without ever telling him I was sorry... I was just seventeen when my father took us to the town hall to sign for me to get married. I thought it surely must have been a terribly difficult thing for him to do, but complicating the matter was the fact that I was not the only one he was signing for. He was also signing papers giving the groom permission to marry. My parents were his legal guardians...

As I brought up the subject, my dad glossed over whatever embarrassment he must have felt at the time. Instead he focused on the reaction of the town clerk. "You're Martha's father?" she asked him.
"Yes," he replied.
"And him?" she asked, gesturing toward James.
"I'm his legal guardian," Dad replied.
At this point, he said, she lowered her glasses and looked at him over the top. Dad laughed at the memory. "I think she was looking for the shotgun," he smiled.

It was all water under the bridge. My father had come to love, forgive, and see James as a son. James had come to love, admire, and view my dad as his own. I watched love, trust, and mutual admiration grow in their relationship. On this our 29th wedding anniversary, I am blessed to know that God had His hand on all of us, healing hurts, planting seeds of love and forgiveness, and giving me the peace that could come only from asking my father's forgiveness.

(So much for words being elusive.)


  1. That's great!

    I did think of your anniversary. I mentioned it to one of the kids. Sorry I never called or sent a card.

  2. I, too, thought of your anniversary, since we share it!! Does time really go this fast? I love your picture, very similar to how my husband and I looked way back when!
    It really is hard to lose a parent; and complicated, too. I was saying to my daughter how my parents would have loved stopping by her home, sitting in her yard, on their outings to visit their "children". But I believe that "hole" they leave in our lives is a good thing, in a way, it means our time together wasn't wasted. I'm reminded of the saying: "Tis better to have loved and lost, than to never have loved at all." While I don't believe it for romantic relationships, I do believe it in regards to family/friends.
    Again, Happy Anniversary!!

  3. Thank you, Cheryl. Happy Anniversary to you too! This summer we shall have find each other out there in the world somewhere.

    Priscilla, don't worry about it. We celebrated by taking Ben and Hannah to Arby's and Toy Story 3.

  4. You always manage to make me tear up, but I also got a chuckle out of Dad telling about the reaction of the Town Clerk...she probably went home that night and told her family about it. Haha!
    Congratulations on 29 years together!

  5. Oh Martha, your words were beautiful and perfect. You know this story tugs at my heart. God bless you and James as you celebrate 29 years and also as you both have celebrated your first Father's Day without your dads. Hugs to you!

  6. Martha, the love goes both ways. You are a dear friend and I treasure you and our connection that we have. I loved, loved, loved having your Bethany Ann here and Josh and getting to know him. It was so comfortable to be around Bethany and I just enjoyed her so much!