On Valentines’ day, I asked my Dad, known to many around the world as “Mickey Daddy,” to write his thoughts on love, family, food – or whatever might flow from his fluent hand and heart. Get a glimpse of my sweet, remarkable Dad and a taste of the deep ink well from where he dips his pen. This is what he shares……
Valentine’s Day and the sentiments attached – I love all that come my way. And I’m loaded. A bride who keeps our flame of love burning even after 52 years; Judy, whose new born bright eyes followed her dad around that hospital bassinet and still brightens his heart; Jenny, who could belly laugh before she could sit up, still bringing loving laughter to our lives: Jane, gorgeous little thing lying in her crib observing life around her, deep, quiet, still living all those qualities; Nate, who after three beautiful little girl babies, his mom, when she first saw him knobby knees and all, said, “Ugly little old boy” now a handsome man of handsome heart; And our little Bethie… our five year later precious little “uh oh” still delighting us with her beauty, intelligence, and courage. My Valentine cards are living and breathing God given gifts. I am “Valentined” beyond measure.
But wholesome love cannot be PBA – Performance Based Activated. It just loves. Because. Nothing else. My living Valentines taught me that truth. My dad score on a scale of one to ten could be a minus three but the hugs, the kisses, the snuggling, never disappeared off the family radar. Sort of tough sitting at the family meal, eye to eye, when you are not heart to heart. My sweetie’s effort to make those times meaningful and palatable was one of her ministries to her Lord. You love God by loving people and you serve God by serving people. She did it in spades. She blessed her family and set the tone for the year round Valentine ingredient in our safe haven corner of world. No PBA here.
I write this on my birthday. At my age, ANY birthday is notable. But whenever my name is called I will step into eternity smothered in love from six incredible gifts from our Loving Father. And wrapped in His arms of love, secure, an honored man for the privilege of having those life long Valentines on my journey. And I will thank Him.