Friday, December 7, 2012

~A MEMOIR'~

If you've followed my blog for very long or read my profile on my sidebar then you know I'm the daughter of a preacher-man.  For as long as I can remember my father was a student of the Word and because of his ministry I was exposed to many amazing things during my childhood.  As a young girl I didn't fully understand the impact some of those early life-lessons would have upon my life, or years later just how they would affect me as I grew into adulthood.
Sunday was always a busy day at our home.  We were up early and rarely missed church.  We had to be on our death-bed or at the very least laden with a high fever to get out of going.  I tried faking being sick a few times,  but I was always busted.  After morning services ended as a family we returned home for lunch. Rarely was dining out an option as my father's meager income couldn't afford the luxury of a restaurant meal.  By early afternoon my brother Bill and I, along with our father, piled back into our ratty-trap car (I know this because ALL the cars we ever owned were junkers!) and drove about ten miles to a convalescent home to minister to the aged and afflicted.  We did this three Sundays out of four each month until we were in our early teens...

I suppose it's important to tell you here that although I willingly went with my father to these services sometimes most times I didn't want to go.  Although my dad never forced me to go with him,  I just could never actually bring myself to tell him I wanted to stay home.  Instead of singing to a bunch of old people, who were either out of their minds or sleeping, I just want to run and play outside with my friends.
 On most of our trips to the nursing home my brother would pass out hymnals and I would almost always sing and play my guitar.  It was in these simple, unsophisticated meetings I learned what it meant to have a compassionate heart for the sick and infirmed.  It would take another three decades before I would come to appreciate the experience and today I hold the memory of our convalescent services as one of my best.  I'm so glad I didn't stay home.

When the nursing home service concluded Bill and I knew our father would treat us both to something special.  It was never much...a small ice-cream float at the local A&W or a bottle of pop from Market Basket.  Sometimes he'd buy us a tiny box of candy, but usually it was a sweet, fizzy concoction of our own choosing.  Together we would open the cooler's lid and pull out whatever soda fit our fancy on that day.  Bill never picked the same thing twice and my dad, if he could afford three bottles, always drank Dr. Pepper...
But for me, being the kind of thinker I am, I had the picking out of my soda down to an art.  My logic was simple.  I would simply pick the biggest bottle of pop for the least amount of money...  And without a doubt it was always BUBBLE-UP.   Most soda pop bottles back then were 12oz or 16oz...but not Bubble-Up!  It held a whopping 18oz (which was alotta pop back then!) and I promise you I savored ever tiny drop.

I rarely (if ever) drink soda anymore...  But while on our mini vacation over Thanksgiving I visited a small store out west and sitting right in front of me was a four pack of Bubble-Up.  My heart skipped a beat and I instantly was transported back to the age of ten.  It was as if the last 40 years had never passed for I could feel myself standing along side my father and brother with my trusty icy cold, lemon-lime drink in hand.

What I understand today is that those bottles of pop often took my father's last few coins.
He gave us all he had and we didn't even realize it.

As I type this my only brother and his wife are driving from Southern Cali to Oklahoma (20 plus hour trip) to be here to watch my beloved, my Mr. AGPMan, receive his college diploma.  As a family we will celebrate with joy!

 While here we will also travel down to the nursing home where our father still resides for a long overdue visit.  I'll take my guitar and my brother will take his and together we will sing and play for a special aged and infirmed man, just like we did as children...
And just in case we get thirsty I'll have three bottles of soda in my satchel...

An Orange Crush for Bill.
Dr. Pepper for my Daddy.
And Bubble-Up for me.

Blessings as the memories help carry you through...

Love to you~

12 comments:

Eya said...

Hi Rebecca, this is so inspirational. It got me emotional. Thanks for sharing. I remember my childhood and the busy Sundays we had too. Like you, there were Sundays I just wanted to stay at home, but could not bring my self to telling my Mom that.

Shabby chic Sandy said...

Oh my goodness--this story brought me to tears. So sweet--thanks for sharing it! Now I want to buy a Bubble up :) Love the photo of you and your Dad.

Diane said...

You have such a beautiful way of telling your stories. I just love visiting you. Thank you for your inspirational tales of love,caring and faith.

Diane

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Oh, Becky! I have tears running down my cheeks. You learned so much from your dad and one thing he helped instill in you is a true servant's heart. Tthis is just beautiful, and the way you told it was so heart warming. Thank you, my sweet friend.. Thank you for sharing your heart with us. This was truly the best Christmas story I read all year. I know that your dad is going to know pure joy when you sing and sip that cola with him. He will know in his heart that he is truly home and dearly loved!

Love you...

XO,

Sheila

Amy Jo said...

You have me crying and it isn't even 8 in the morning.... very touching. Thanks for sharing your story.

Blessings,
Amy Jo

The Quintessential Magpie said...

I came back to say that I just read this to Mr. Magpie, and he cried, too. You should see us, a couple of blubbering babies!

XO,

Sheila

Pam Traskos said...

ABSOULUTELY BEAUTIFUL!
Thanks for sharing Rebecca :)

Carolyn said...

Rebecca, what a beautiful, sweet story! How wonderful that you and your brother will sing again for your daddy! I will pray that he has a clear mind for that special afternoon and that you all enjoy your special pop! I love the stories from childhood in the 60's & 70's..it was a special time of growing up! Recently, I find myself remembering something that I had forgotten almost daily! There were just tons of sunny days!! :)

Loving your snowy white Christmas decked home! :)

Blessings, Carolyn

Anne said...

Rebecca what a sweet story! Oh I remember bubble up too!What a beautiful photo of you and your dad!
xx
Anne

Mariette VandenMunckhof-Vedder said...

Dearest Rebecca,
What a valuable journey down memory lane... Your own Dad did teach you early on how to handle him now. What a fate.
Hugs to you and have a wonderful celebration with the almost complete family.
Mariette

Bonnie Hitchcock said...

I'm sitting here with tears in my eyes. What a beautiful story.

I too remember Sunday afternoons at the nursing home. My daddy had a love for the shut-ins and his ministry ended there only 6 days before his death. His love for people has made me who I hope to be one day. He seasoned everything with grace.

Only thing...we didn't go out to dinner because it was wrong to buy on Sunday then. Glad that one changed!

~*Sharee*~ said...

How very lucky we are hun; I also had a wonderful dad and reading your post made me get tears; I lost my dad 7 years ago,he was only 70. But, I was also blessed with a loving dad & mom and a wonderful (but poor) childhood. I still have my mom with us and miss my dad everyday...thanks for sharing.

Hugs, Shar

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