Today my father would have been 81

So, I don’t have any pictures, and I don’t have lots of stories, but I have not been able to get a thing started on my sermon, and I finally figured out why. Today would have been my father’s 81st birthday. He hated a fuss on his birthday. My grandmother told me a story about how she had a surprise party for him when he was young and he ran out of the house. He wanted nothing to do with it. I don’t understand, and I was so astounded by the story that I never thought to ask any questions. I don’t know if it was a party with older relatives or young friends. I never did learn how old he was at the time, I just can picture him at about 8 or 10 running out of the house and into the shelter of trees near by.

I remember turning 54 and realizing that I was the same age that he was when he passed away. Each year I am always surprised that I continue to age when he didn’t. His father didn’t live that long either. Each of them died in a way that should have been prevented. I mean neither had a disease like cancer or heart attack. One died in a car accident that shouldn’t have happened. The other took his own life or so we think. We will never know the truth of either. We aren’t even sure who was driving when that accident happened. My mother always contended that my father wasn’t at the wheel when his dad died, but he was covering for the other person in the car. How do you survive those things. How do you lose a son, who you planned your whole life around. How do you take your pride and joy and lay him in a grave. My parents did that.

Sometimes, I don’t like blogging and posting what comes out as my fingers dance across the computer keys, but I have to post it. I have to get this out so that I can move on and finish my other work. Nothing will flow until this is out-of-the-way. So, I say sorry to those who end up reading this and wondering what it is about. It just is. I am trying to write on the topic of doing not just believing. I am also trying to write on the topic of doing it with sincerity. To be honest. To just say we believe in God without doing something for others is just lip service. If we are honest about our faith and our beliefs, we will go out and do something about it.

I always feel like such a hypocrite telling others about faith and how to act and believe because I don’t really do anything, I don’t do enough. I don’t share what I believe enough. But that isn’t really true. I am finally starting to see that I do share. I just don’t stand on street corners or radio shows or bring it up in every conversation I have with someone. I find it much easier to write about it than talk about it. And, mostly I find that of all the times I put on that Pastor robe and stand behind the pulpit, the time that is easiest to speak what I really believe is when there is a coffin and grieving people in the building. Perhaps it is because I can relate to them so well. Grieving the loss of family is something that a person never totally gets over. My father has been gone for 26 years, and at the end of this year, on New Year’s Eve, my brother will be gone 52 years.

I think that I didn’t believe that what I do is important until a read a recent post by Mama the Reader. She is listed in the pictures of those I follow. Scroll over the pictures and see the names that pop up to find her. She is a college professor who has recently become a single mother. Her courage is remarkable. She finally admitted that she is more than just a teacher of a few classes at a college. I seriously believed her that she just taught a class or two and I wondered how she was surviving, and now she finally admitted it. She is a real professor. She downplayed herself because she said that is what we women do too often. She is so right.

I keep thinking of myself as a no one. I only substitute teach and am only a part-time pastor. I don’t have a degree for the pastor thing, but I was a religion-philosophy major in college. That was my second major. I always thought my college degree was a joke because I majored in Health-Physical Education and Recreation. It was a joke major according to the pre-professionals and the accounting majors. We were especially considered stupid by those in biology because our kinesiology course was in the PE department and not with the sciences. But I digress.

Mostly I wanted to post this today to just get it out. Maybe now I can come up with something worth saying tomorrow as we look at the scriptures of James 1:17-27 and Mark 7:1-8, 14-15 and 21-23. Hope you stop back to see if it was worth the effort. For now, may God Bless you for taking the time to read and think about what your own beliefs are and what brought you to them.

12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. pobept
    Sep 15, 2015 @ 21:33:50

    It has been about 25 years since my parents died. I can’t tell you without looking it up when they died, but for me I still have trouble ‘mentally’ when their birthday comes and go’s.
    Happy gardening

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  2. christinelaennec
    Aug 30, 2015 @ 15:52:12

    Lucinda, I echo what both Tilly and Kat have written. I was a college professor (have a Ph.D from Yale – isn’t that just wild?). But I hated the kinds of barriers that being “Dr. Laennec” sometimes threw in the way of relating to people – I never use that title except in the context of academic employment. To me, the most important things in life are: being kind, trying to grow in my faith (despite feeble efforts at times!), and trying to help others. Sometimes I admit I wonder whether I would have “achieved” more if things had been different, if our children hadn’t had so many challenges. But I never really think that for very long. The real achievements are the ones the world doesn’t usually reward.
    The two people I admire most in the world are my grandparents, long gone. My Grampa had to work as a child, and he finished grade school when he was a father himself, going to night school. My Granny graduated from high school and was a talented secretary before she married in 1921 and raised a family. Their goodness, faith, humor and insights into what is important continue to stand before me as examples of what I strive to be like.
    I do believe that the world’s yardstick is of little importance compared to God’s. Madeleine L’Engle once wrote that it was strange to consider that perhaps a lowly maidservant of the Tudor period might have gotten into heaven before Shakespeare. God sees what we cannot – the real impact we have on others, through our actions and attitudes even more than our words.
    So don’t ever think of yourself as a no-one! You are definitely someone, and I always enjoy reading your thoughts and questionings here on your blog. The sufferings of your father and brother are as hard to understand as the whole question of what any of us is “worth”. Luckily, God has all that covered.
    I hope you don’t mind me sharing all this. Keep up the good work! X

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    • lucindalines
      Aug 30, 2015 @ 16:07:12

      Mind, no way, thank you so much for these thoughts Christine. It has really been an eye opener to read the comments from this post. Of all things, I almost left it as a draft fearing what some close to me might think if they read it. It has been so wonderful to hear from all of you blogging friends. My only regret about the blogging world is not having the opportunity to go have coffee or a cup of tea together on a regular basis. Perhaps someday in the great beyond. Thanks again for your words of encouragement.

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  3. stillsearching2
    Aug 30, 2015 @ 15:38:14

    Even though I was never raised in a family that went to church, I have always been curious. I would go by myself, as a child, to all the churches in our town. I would just decide what one the morning I woke up. I do question some things, I have been in lingo, I am still not sure what I really believe in. My husbands family is Catholic.
    I will tell you one thing. I took care of his great-aunt when she was dying of cancer. Because of her strong faith in heaven and God, she was not angry, she was not scared. Mind you, she lived a good long life, I would still think anyone would be scared at any age. She was at peace knowing she would go to heaven and be with her family. I say that is a wonderful thing. A gift.
    If that is the peace and comfort you are sharing and teaching, when, in the worst of times, could there be anything more valuable? Comfort, faith, peace? More precious than anything for someone who needs it most. It changed me as a person, to see this. You are more than a teacher, you bring hope in a world where we could all use some.

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  4. Tilly Frueh
    Aug 30, 2015 @ 08:40:39

    I can’t believe with all the accomplishments you have that you would think of yourself as a no one. Education isn’t what defines us. The accomplishments you have are not because of the schooling you’ve completed, it’s because of the person you have become. Your family, your friends, and your congregation I’m sure could care less what degrees you have and if they don’t care less, they should.
    I’m certainly not one to talk though because I “only” have an associates degree from a community college and have felt inadequate for years. I think the system is designed that way and thus the push for everyone to have a college education. I am a housewife, a mother, a friend, a neighbor and that job is more important than any a college could supposedly prepare me for. Life is the best teacher and living each day is the only college that matters. Nice words, I should believe in them more often than I do. Just know that the things you accomplish each day are what matter, not what any piece of paper says or what other people think (again, I really need to listen to what write).
    Thanks for sharing, knowing that other struggle with the same things I do helps put them into perspective and reevaluate my own insecurities/inadequacies — which when I think about it aren’t inadequacies at all.

    Liked by 1 person

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    • lucindalines
      Aug 30, 2015 @ 15:17:25

      Oh Tilly, thank you so much for your comment. It is just what I needed. Sometimes we just need to life each other up and that is what I get so much from the blogging world. Always wish we could just run out the back door and have coffee or tea together and check out each other’s canning projects. Thanks again.

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      • Tilly Frueh
        Aug 31, 2015 @ 06:38:03

        I agree the blogging world is certainly a support network. It would be nice to enjoy a tall glass of lemonade, a hot cup of coffee, or even some afternoon tea and sit and chat. Until the virtual world closes the gap of distance in the real world though, it is nice to have this network to fall back on.

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    • lucindalines
      Aug 30, 2015 @ 16:02:30

      Thank you so much. Those are the easiest messages to deliver, sounds odd, but perhaps because of my conviction, which became much clearer when my mother passed away. She, a few days before she died, had a dream of walking in a beautiful garden with her mother. I know someday we will be together in that garden and that keeps me going. God’s blessings.

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  5. Kat at travelgardeneat
    Aug 29, 2015 @ 22:57:02

    “Only” is one of those words that belittles unnecessarily much too often … In my office I have a sign with a quote attributed to Abraham Lincoln — “Whatever you are, be a good one.” Wouldn’t the world be dull with exclusively”professionals”?! (I can say that as an attorney 🙂 ). The school of life often enriches us more than any academic setting, and people are so much more than the piece of paper they frame on a wall (or not). Thanks for sharing, Lucinda.

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