He was my first friend. My secret keeper. My hero. He was the best Dad a little girl could have… because he listened.
He wasn’t highly educated—he worked in a factory. But he was the wisest man I knew. He held my hand when we crossed the street. He laughed at my corny jokes. Even though he worked until after I was in bed, I remember many nights waking as he tucked the covers around me, making sure I was safe and warm.
From my earliest memories, I remember Dad would look into my eyes when he spoke to me. And when I offered a bit of childlike wisdom of my own, he would stop, ponder what I said, and respond as if having an audience with me was the greatest honor ever bestowed on him.
If I mustered all my strength, I’d wait up for him on Friday nights. I’d watch out the window and see him park in the driveway and then rush to the back door to greet him. He’d walk in the door with shoulders slouched, but when he saw me his face would light up as he smiled. After hugs, we’d head to the kitchen where he’d make eggs and toast for us. He’d pour the leftover coffee from his Thermos in his cup and share a drizzle a bit for me in another, filling the rest of my mug with warm milk.
Over eggs, we talked about our week or anything that came to mind. We’d talk about my friends or what happened at school. Sometimes we’d talk about grown-up topics. Relationships. Missed opportunities. Family hurts. Many times he’d tell me, “Robbie, you’re going to deal with more hurts than most folks. While most people see Life as black or white, you consistently see it in shades of grays. Life is easy in blacks and whites. The struggles come in the grays. But your job will be to seek out the deeper satisfactions that also live in the grays, too. They’re there; you’ll need to hunt for them. Don’t worry, God’s always with you.”
Years have passed and my conversations with Dad stopped. Death has a way of doing that. But his truth still resonates in my heart. He instilled in me that I was the apple of his eye… and of God’s eye, too (Deuteronomy 32:10). While my choices through life may have faltered, Dad’s words of wisdom never failed. Every time he talked with me, he spoke a blessing over my life. He filled me with word pictures that showed my worth—to him and to God.
Words from a father carry Life or Death. Blessings can’t be spoken too early into the life of a child.
Robin Luftig is a blogger, author and inspirational speaker. She founded Renew Ministries, sharing with spiritually- and emotionally-broken men and women that it’s not too late. God’s plan for their lives includes healing. Her first book, From “Pain to Peace: the Journey of Forgiveness After Divorce” can be found at Amazon. Watch for her newest work not yet scheduled to be published, “Ten Days to Live: Healing from a Broken Brain, Broken Bones and a Broken Heart”. Follow her on social media on Facebook (Robin Luftig, Speaker & Author), Twitter (@RobinLuftig) and Instagram (robinluftig).