From a letter I wrote to my father on the occasion of his 80th birthday in September 2000.
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. . ." Galations 5:22-23
When I think of your influence on my life, I think of the fruit of the Spirit. The love you have given, the joy we see in your face when we’re gathered together, the patience with which you disciplined us, the kindness and goodness that are evident in all that you do, the gentleness with which you held and cared for your grandchildren, the self-control necessary to be a responsible husband, father, and son.
There is no way that I can adequately express how much your example. . .just the way you have lived your life. . .has meant to me.
My father died March 24th of this year, less than three months ago, and every day something reminds me of him and how much we all miss him. But I'm also reminded of how blessed I was by his love and his example.
In today's edition of Parade Magazine, author Harlan Coben writes about his father, who died of a heart attack at age 59. In the article, entitled "Tears for a Good Father", he relates how seeing a 40-year-old photograph of himself with his father brings him to tears. But, he writes, "This is the price you pay for having a great father. You get the wonder, the joy, the tender moments - and you get the tears at the end, too."
“We can't all leave a prestigious background or lots of money to visit our children, but we can leave them a legacy of love” Naomi Rhode
I am blessed by my father's legacy of love. I am also blessed by the love of my husband, the father of my children. A man whose integrity, hard work, faithfulness, and love of family continues to set an example for his children.
The photos above were taken when the children were growing up. They have families of their own now, and have blessed us with six grandchildren.
He didn't tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it. ~Clarence Budington Kelland