A DADDY’S MEMORY---for Melinda
I remember the day we brought you home from Montgomery and how important Dexter Avenue became to all of us.
And I remember VeVe and Pa Pa seeing you for the first time and thinking you were the prettiest baby in the world.
I remember the days in Angel Grove when I carried you in your little bicycle seat around the curvy roads.
And the time on Tybee Beach when you saw a big M on a building and thought it was McDonalds.
And you chasing me around the tennis court at Angel Grove or following me up the hill so you could go in the church and play the “PA” you called it. (The Piano)
Or during the sermon I was preaching about Caleb when you said out loud during the worship service to everyone’s surprise, “Give me that mountain!!”
And I can remember the days in Birmingham when I stayed awake with you at night when you had difficulty breathing. And when they said you needed allergy shots, I remember giving you those allergy shots every time I came home from Nashville and how you screamed and I hurt so bad inside. You hated to see me coming. And there finally came the day I said, “I can’t do this anymore.”
And I remember when Pa Pa died and you were 4 and I wanted to tell you myself what had happened. And you said something that helped my own grief and was one of the great theological lessons I ever learned, “Pa Pa is like the wind. We can’t see him but he’s there.”
And when we moved to Tennessee I remember the snowmen we made and us sliding down the hill on the sled.
And the old tire swing in the backyard that everyone seemed to enjoy.
And the times, as a gymnast, you flipped and flipped upside down until it almost drove us mad. And you kept doing that until you grew to tall for the room.
And how you loved the “Barbie’s,” even until you were a teenager.
And I remember how shy you often were. And I remember the band camps, the flute, and the baton, and the flugelhorn, and the mean tricks – like how to growl and chase bad kitties outside—you taught Prissy.
And I remember how important Christmas was when we always read the Christmas Story and a Child’s Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas on Christmas Eve and dreamed of fictitious fires in Wales.
And the times at Joan’s when Christmas was a family affair and we listened to Mark play the guitar and we all laughed, even the time Uncle Alan bought his new Mercedes (all the way from Germany) and it snowed and snowed and snowed. And we all spent Christmas Eve at our house and it was so memorable.
And I remember the Christmas when you were working at UT they you drove most of the morning from Knoxville so we could all open presents together at 8 am. We were so afraid of that journey that night.
And I remember you driving to Ridgecrest when you were 16 to go to the Baptist Assembly Ground there and the times when we drove to Glorieta, New Mexico, and especially the drive to Anne of Green Gables territory on Prince Edward Island and how the little red-haired girl came out of the darkness on the moonlight trail and how you went to get some raspberry cordial.
And I remember the little note (shaped like a fish) I put in my Bible on November 3, 1988, which said, "We pray Lord that Melinda may marry a fine Christian gentleman and they may serve you faithfully throughout their lives."
And I remember the first time we met Mike (And Steven) and you were on the scavenger hunt and I never realized that this was the one.
But Mike has been a blessing. And I’m glad that he is going to be a companion on the journey with you. That is going to be a great blessing. And I (we both) are thankful.
Melinda, I’m sure there will be more memories, but just wanted to share these things two days before you marry. These were some of the special moments in my life I remember. And you were a special part of them.
I LOVE YOU,