Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day

I have four great men in my life. Two have passed on and two are still with me. I would like you to meet...

1. My grandpa, Lonnie Edward Maze, Sr.

2. My dad, Lonnie Edward Maze, Jr.

3. and 4. My brother and nephew, Lonnie Edward Maze III and IV.

No, we don't have very original names for men in our family, but Proverbs 22:1 says "A good name is more desirable than great riches" and I'm so happy to say that our family name is desirable because of the legacy Lonnie #'s 1 and 2 have left for my brother and I to follow.

My dad died suddenly in 1992 of a stroke, I was 17 years old and a Senior in High School.  This December will mark 20 years since his passing.  I've lived longer without him than I did with him and that's hard to believe!  And my grandpa died in 1999 after a long 7 year battle with cancer. They were upstanding, good, honorable men. The kind of men everyone looked up to (and I'm not just saying that because they're dead now, we really did!). The kind of person who was moral and upright, who built a strong foundation for their families.  They weren't perfect and I don't mean to paint the picture that they were, but they were wonderful.  They were fun and easy to love. I miss them a little everyday, especially on Father's Day. But after all these years, it's not the same kind of 'missing' them that it once was. I don't get overly sentimental over things they used or things they liked like I did for many years after their death.  Especially now that my mom is packing up and moving away from our childhood home, we've had to say goodbye to lots of things of my dad's that we kept just laying around in the garage or stored in the attic because for so long it was too painful to get rid of.  Things like his tools, workbench, pharmacy memorabilia, etc.  Those are all just things and believe me we have memories that are far more valuable than all of that!

It's not really sad for me anymore because I know they lived their life the way they wanted to, without any regrets. They were both Christian men and so we are comforted in the fact they are together in Heaven with my Heavenly Father.  So if you are still grieving the loss of a parent or family member, please know that it does get easier as time moves on, but there is always an emptiness and a longing for those you've loved and lost.

However, I do get a touch sentimental when I think of Molly, Madison, and Eddie not knowing them. My dad would have been a great grandpa! He would have eaten up Madison and Molly, he loved girls!   But I can't even explain how overjoyed both grandpa and dad would have been to have known there was a #4 running around! Pure happiness!!!  And as ironic as it sounds, Little Eddie, IV reminds us of Grandpa Maze so often because he loves to be outside, picking up sticks, and just being a boy.  Oh I can just picture what Grandpa would have done with that little guy running around his place!!

But now it is my responsibility to tell Molly, Madison, and Eddie all about their grandpa and great grandpa. I have many stories to share and although they will never know them as I do, I hope they respect the men they were for our family and honor their name. It is also my responsibility to live a life that would be pleasing to these two men. Proverbs 23:24-25 says "The father of a righteous man (woman) has great joy; he who has a wise son (daughter) delights in him. May your father and mother be glad; may she who gave you birth rejoice!"

Raising children is difficult, I'm  only 2 years into this journey, but I see the burden on the faces of parents these days who are trying to balance everything. My dad and grandpa lived in simpler times, but they also had what so many of us today are lacking...COMMON SENSE! I think I inherited a touch of common sense from them. I don't like the create drama or chaos in my daily life and I certainly do not choose to make my life harder than it should be.  They (and many others of their generation) just inherently knew how to be a good dad. They disciplined (with a firm hand) and held very high expectations for their children.  In my home there wasn't ever a time my brother or I "told" my dad what we were going to do, he {and mom} were the ones telling us, guiding us, and leading us to make good decisions with our lives.  

I cannot count the times my mom, brother, or I have laughed and said, "I know what dad would have done or said" in a particular situation.  He was very predictable, very no nonsense when it came to respect and obeying him and mom.  But he was also loving and affectionate in a healthy way and providing for his family was always his #1 goal.  (close runner ups would be #2 the lake/his houseboat/fishing, #3 football, and #4 good food) :)

I know I'm a better person for having known my dad and grandpa. I say all the time that I am a strong, confident, and successful, single mom because my dad made me feel beautiful everyday and loved me (and my family) so strongly that even today his presence fills our lives.  I'd love to tell all of the dads out there to make your daughter feel beautiful and loved everyday and they will not likely go to a boy to try to fill that desire or make poor choices with men as a teenager or young adult.  It is true, the father /daughter relationship determines her future most of the time.   

I'm really thankful for all of the men in Molly's life who will be father figures to her as she grows up.  Of course, my brother, my cousin Jeff, and our neighbor "Pants" are men she sees regularly and she loves them!  Recently she has asked about why we don't have a daddy in our family, just from observing other families or something in a movie or on tv.  I just answer by explaining how all families are different and in our family it's just a mommy because I'm not married.  I told her if I ever get married then I would have a husband and she would have a daddy and she said, "ok"!  I've shown her pictures of my dad and told her some about her "grandpa", but of course she doesn't grasp who they are at this point.  

For anyone without their fathers on this Father's Day may you be comforted in Psalm 68:5 "A father to the fatherless", that is how God revealed himself to me after I lost my dad and it still comforts me today knowing that He will comfort Molly also as she grows up without a dad in our home.  

(this post was edited from a previous Father's Day post in 2008)


Tricia said...

Beautiful post Amy! I lost my father in 1999 suddendly.

Becky said...

My dad adored his grandchildren and did not live to see any of them get married and have children. I lost my mom last month. I am so thankful that eternity is longer than the years I had them here on earth.

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