Wednesday, December 15, 2010

My Sweet Daddy is having his 80th Birthday!

Dear Sweet Daddy,

I am sending this with much love and hoping that your party will be a wonderful celebration of your birth. I am sorry that I won’t be there to celebrate with you on the day, but am thankful that we will be there just a few days afterwards to celebrate with you. Enjoy your party!

I have spent a great deal of time pondering what to say to you in this letter. A letter to be put in a book for everyone to read. Many, many things come to mind, but have already been written up in blog posts or in the book I did for you in 2009. Or they are simply too personal to put in a letter for all to see.

The thing that continues to come to mind is simply I love you. I hope that you know how much I love you. I don’t remember a time when I didn’t simply love My Sweet Daddy. I’m not sure if I love you more than any daughter ever loved her Daddy, although I have said for years that I am the self-proclaimed Queen of Daddy’s Girls. I only know that I have loved you as long as I can remember and as best I know how.

You have been such a place of earthly comfort and strength to me. As a small child, anything I imagined to be dangerous to me was held at bay when you were close by. I had a fast-held justified true belief that if My Sweet Daddy were near, nothing could harm me. As I grew older and became a little more aware of what danger really was, I still had a sense of well-being when you were close by. My belief grew from knowing that nothing would harm me if you were near to knowing that within your power, you would help keep me from harm if I acted prudently. Even older, when I brought my broken heart to you, you offered comfort and safety and I believe your heart broke along with mine. I took comfort from your care and concern and with courage and perhaps a little craziness dared to love again.

I love you for so many, many reasons. But the one I hold highest above all is the one I believe you would care for the most. And that is this: You lived your life in such a way that you pointed me to One dearer than even my own Sweet Daddy. You led me to a Heavenly Father, with whom I was very comfortable, thanks to the strong concept of Father that I learned from you. Thanks to your life, teaching and witness, I participate in Life Eternal that began all those years ago when you led me to know not only God the Father, but to accept God the Son.

I end with this. Simply one phrase, one solitary phrase that doesn’t say nearly what I want it to say, but also says it all. I love you, Daddy.

Your Baby Girl,


Monday, December 6, 2010

Irene and Malcolm got Married on Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving fell on November 29 in 1928. The West Tennessee sky was clear very early that morning when a man, with a funny look on his face got into the old '28 car even before daylight and headed to Memphis, which was 30 miles away. That was quite a long trip on a road that was little more than a path. Murray (also known as Mr. Jimmie) was certain there were not enough pies for the dinner that day. He intended to remedy that situation!

Back at the house, Irene (also known as Sister and pronounced, 'Sistah'), a young beautiful young woman who stood at just 4 foot 11 inches was beyond excited. This was THE DAY!!! The dress was perfect, the church decorated and the trains were running on time!! Though she was nervous, Irene was so happy that her eyes were shinning brighter than they ever had before. She was going to marry Malcolm that day.

In Memphis, Lizzie and Charlie Younger, the parents of the groom, were headed to the train station. The ride to Oakland was not really a joyous occasion for them, at least not for Lizzie. Her Buddy, youngest child of six, was getting married to a little slip of a girl. A girl from a country town. Of course, their only daughter, Arlowynne, loved her dearly and was fairly bouncing and rushing everybody around. Must not miss the train for this is "Buddy's" Big Day, and if she could have chosen, she Arlowynne would have chosen Irene! Arlowynne and Malcolm {Buddy} were just 18 months apart, and she had always watched out for her little brother.

Folks in that small southern town were getting ready for the Austin Girl's wedding.
Her brothers had done their best to scare Mac off, and it did not work. They tried
all sorts of trickery and this boy from the city would not be put off! Must love Sistah!
The youngest, 7 year old Genie, had been very ill and the pretty white suit that
Bertha, the Austin Matriarch, had made faily hung on his young skinny frame. He simply
refused to wear suspenders.

Friends of Malcolm, they were all Preacher Boys, would be here on the Jackson train. It was on time, too! This certainly must be the Right Thing to do.

The kitchen was bustling with the girls who had come to help. They were humming and
buzzing around. They all loved Miss Irene. She was so kind and pretty. Those
girls left their families scattered in their little houses in Mr Jimmie's cotton fields which
were all around Oakland. Mr Jimmie pulled into the yard with a car full of pies. All the pies he could find at two bakeries and they were all Pumpkin Pie! The girls wondered what Miss Bertha was going to say when she saw all those pies!!

When the Memphis Train pulled in, and the Youngers walked on the platform and Lizzie
stopped abruptly! Her beautiful eyes, which were always bright and her best feature, were clouded. She covered her mouth with her hand and behind it announced to Charlie, Arlowynne, Malcolm and another son, Dude that she had forgotten her new store bought teeth. She meant to put them in her pocketbook....but in all the bustle she forgot! She would
not.....absolutey NOT go without her teeth. There were no more trains that would
get there and back. There was, however, another auto in the Austins lot. Maybe Larry Austin or somebody could take one of them back to get the teeth. They worked it out and as fast as that old auto could was off to Memphis on a Teeth Run!

That little church was packed. The piano was played. The special music, sung beautifully.
The attendants filed in. Then Gene came in.

As he walked not too far in front of his beloved Sistah and his Daddy, the little white pants begin to slip down. Irene handed Daddy the flowers that had come from the side yard and stopped. She bent and pulled up the pants, kissed Genie Boy, and proceded
down the isle.

On one side sat Bertha, without a smile. She remained stoic. No smile would come to her. It was her way. On the other side of the aisle sat Lizzie with a big smile. Teeth proudly gleaming.

At the front of the little church, Malcolm was handsome and proud as he looked up the church aisle. There, walking calmly, was the most beautiful girl in the world....Irene! She was his "Girl of My Dreams" that he would sing to for 49 years. This was the woman who would support him in his Ministry, because she felt the Lord calling her to do so. This would be the mother of his only child. She was simply The BEST, and she was his!

November 29 comes and goes. I remain here while my Mama and Daddy have gone to their Eternal Home.

Thank God for the Austins and the Youngers. I am a mixture of both.