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0908 PD: It matters not what you do

Yevet Tenney Published on 11 June 2008

I remember sitting across from her in her living room. Her angel-white hair shining in the sunlight streaming though the window.

She had been a widow for years, and the years had taken their tole, but Grandma Lovine was never old in spirit. Her eyes danced with youthful delight as she told me about her little boy, Jay Crandell, my father, as it had happened yesterday.

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“He was such a cute little guy,” she smiled. Her face clouded a little. “We worried about him though because when Jay was little he would sometimes faint for no apparent reason. People would tell us he wouldn’t live long because he matured too fast. He was too bright a spirit for this life. We didn’t want to believe them, but it was a frightening thing to hear.”

Grandma took Jay to the doctor. The doctor examined him and said, “There is nothing to worry about, his intellect is too big. Any kind of pain is too much of a shock to him, and it causes him to faint. He will grow out of it.”

Daddy did grow out of it, and for 86 years he has spread his intelligence around, blessing the lives of others.

Grandma Lovine taught Daddy many things. She taught him poetry when he was just tiny, and that has remained his hallmark all these years. He started with small poems.

He not only memorized them, he integrated them into his life.

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It matters not what you do.
Make a nation or a shoe.
He who does the honest thing
in God’s pure sight is ranked a King.

My father has done many things in his life, driving log truck, loading bombs for heavy bombardment in World War II, working on the fire tower spotting fires for the Forest Service, driving school bus and working at a paper mill. It didn’t matter what he did, his goal was to be honest and give a full day’s work for a full day’s pay. In the military they called him Deacon, because of his integrity. That little poem described his life in vivid detail. Today he is ranked with kings.

He learned another poem about tithing. It goes like this:

I know what tithing is
I can tell you every time.
It’s ten cents on a dollar
and a penny on a dime.

Daddy has paid 10 percent of his income to the Lord since he was small. His generosity has blessed thousands. He not only paid tithing like Abraham, he unselfishly gave money to send missionaries out into the world to bless the lives of others. He always did it quietly without fanfare. I knew because I am his daughter. What a blessing to have a father like that.

One Father’s Day I wrote a poem for him. I found a card that had a bouquet of flowers on the front. It was painted by a child, but it inspired the poem because the vase and flowers represented how inadequate I feel in telling my dad how much I love him.

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Daddy’s Bouquet
This is not a fancy card
That’s trimmed in silver lace.
The picture was painted by a child
Whose fingers were unsure.
It made me think of how unskilled I am
At telling you how much I love you.

There are four flowers in the vase
Each tells of what you’ve done.
The first is for the life you gave
That I might live. The endless hours
of Sacrifice in a job that was never done.

The second flower is the love you
Instilled within my heart.
A love for the gospel and the teachings
of the Lord.
I learned to pray at your knee
And my testimony grew because
You walked the path and said,
“Come follow me.”

The third flower was desire to learn.
I saw you reading books.
I saw you share what you had learned.
I knew that you had wisdom because
You always knew what to say when I
Came to ask advice.

The fourth flower is the patriotic love
That goes deep in my heart.
When I see the flag go by or pledge my
Allegiance.
I never fail to think of you
And others who gave their time and
lives so that America could be free.

On my parents’ 66th wedding anniversary, my daddy had a heart attack and was hospitalized. All of the planned festivities had to be put on hold. He lay there in the hospital bed with all the children gathered round. I could not help but marvel at the legacy my father will leave to all of us one day. We hovered around him as a mother watches the crib of a newborn. We had a family prayer and knew that God would spare him for a little while. We don’t know how long we will be able to keep him, but we are infinitely grateful for the time we have.

This morning I realize that all I know about God and my relationship with Him, I learned from my father’s example of charity. He has been a never-ending beacon of God’s love. When I meet my Father in Heaven, I will know Him because of godly attributes my daddy has shown. He left footprints that are indelible in the sands of time.

I wrote this poem for my daddy’s parents, but it so much applies to him.

Grandparent’s Paths
They left footprints deep in the sand of time.
Footprints that the wind
Couldn’t blow away.
Each step they took was harder than the
last.
But they built bridges
Across the great divide.
Their banners white against the sky
Were washed and ironed with tears,
The poles cemented in with love.
They often turned
To see if we would follow.
For you see,
The path they charted was
the upward path
Leading to Eternity.

Father’s Day is a time for remembering fathers. Some are not lucky enough to have a daddy like mine. Some do not even know their daddies. I can think of nothing more tragic than a daddy retreating from the blessings that come from fatherhood, but there are some who will never know what they abandon. If you did not have a daddy like mine, try to be a daddy like that to your children. God will show you the way. He is our Father and loves us very much. He says so in Luke 11: 9-13:

“And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.

“For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

“If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?

“Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?

“If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?”

The Holy Spirit is the Comforter. He will take all the sorrows in your life and turn them to joy. He will not give you what you have lost, but he will give you understanding and the ability to patch up your wounded heart and give you courage to go on when you don’t think you can.

No matter what kind of daddy you have, tell your daddy you love him. Mend the broken fences for someday the sun will go down, and the fences will remain forever as they are, and you will be compelled to look at them for the rest of your life. PD

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