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My Daddy

Well with today being Fathers Day I thought I would post a little about my Daddy.

My dad was born Billy Ray in 1956 to a very poor family. Daddy grew up living in tents in national parks around the US. His father was a sever alcoholic and the entire family reaped his abuse.

Dad's very first pair of shoes were given to him by his teacher. After several weeks of coming to school bare foot the teacher felt moved to buy Dad a pair of shoes. Dad often told me about that teacher.

Dad grew and had many challenges and burdens in his life. He was born a juvenile diabetic and dealt with sickness his whole life.

Dad met my Mom when he was just 18. She was 25 and already the mother of 2. I was 18 months old when Dad and Mom married. Dad never had a proper example of how a father should act so he did his best. He made mistakes but he sincerely tried to be a good father.

Dad had developed some very bad habits. He had an addiction to drugs. He used drugs as one would cigarettes but I never thought anything about it, this was normal for families.

When Dad was 32 he developed sores on one of his feet, the end result being amputation. After 5 hard years Dad had lost both feet and was now diagnosed with a systemic bone disease brought on by the diabetes.

Dad lived a very hard and painful life and through it all he had no one to lean on or turn to. Dad didn't know Jesus and didn't know how wonderful His comfort could be.

At 17 I moved out of our troubled home and into the home of my husbands family. The laws were laid out in the beginning, what was allowed and what wasn't. For the first time in my life I realized that my family wasn't normal. Families actually ate went to church and talked sweetly to one another. Life was totally different in his family.

At 18 Johnny and I were married. A month before the wedding Dad had a stroke and was paralyzed on his right side. He was very worried about walking me down the isle, and pleaded that he didn't have to. He was now confined to a wheel chair. It was wonderful holding Dad's hand as Mom pushed his wheel chair down the isle.

Not long after the wedding Johnny was preaching and I had begged Dad to come. He had been in church once in his life and that was for our wedding. He said a few choice words and then informed me that he wouldn't be coming to the church, not today or ever. Imagine my surprise and elation when the back door opened just after the congregation began singing it's first hymn.
My Dad, my Dad had come. I had been praying for years for his salvation and here he was. I sat in the pew the entire time praying and begging God to save my Daddy. As Johnny concluded his sermon and began the invitation my heart yearned for Daddy, I begged God and then it happened; Dad got up on his prostheses and hobbled down the isle. I almost stood on my pew and clapped when Dad bowed his head and asked King Jesus to save him. Dad was never the same.



When I was pregnant with our second son Dad began to develop sores on his fingers. As the months passed he lost one finger after the other. Dad was now a man with no legs and the possibility of loosing his ability to use hands.

Within the next several months we spent many a night at the hospital with Dad. He wasn't every going to get better and there was nothing anyone could do. I began praying that God would take him, he was already living the worst nightmare possible. I asked Dad often if he was sure he would go to heaven if he died and his answer was always the same, " Yes Sister, I would." My worry was eased and I begged God to take him home and end this misery.

Sitting in my mother-in-law's living room the call came and I knew this was it. Dad had been taken to the hospital and was not expected to live. We rushed to the hospital and I knew Dad wouldn't be going home. I think God allowed me to know that Dad wasn't going home. I sat on the side of Dad's bed and held his hand. Near the end he lost his eye sight and eventually fell into a deep sleep. I held his hand until his heart beat for the last time. He had such a serene look on his face and I knew he was with Jesus.

My Dad wasn't the best father and he didn't instill the wisest insight but he was Daddy and I think my Heavenly Father for every moment he let me spend with my Daddy.

On this Fathers Day, my thoughts are on my Daddy.

*Originally posted Father's Day '06

16 comments:

  1. What a tribute to your Dad when you probably have every right to be bitter towards him for not giving you a loving home and fatherly example while growing up. But it sure shines through that you loved him unconditionally. I enjoyed reading your story.

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  2. Deb,
    Daddy was loving in his own way and I am thankful for him. I know God put me in that life to teach me to relate to the people God has given us in Croatia. My Gypsy folks here are like family to me and I can relate to the way the live and the things they face. I wouldn't go back, not for anything, and change how I was raised. I believe like with all things, God had a purpose for good.

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  3. Your memories of your Dad were very touching, Tori. I'm glad he got saved and you will see him again.

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  4. Thank you for sharing your Daddy with us. I could have stood up and clapped too when you told how he got saved! Praise the Lord! This was a blessing to read, Tori.

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  5. Thanks Ladies,
    I don't often talk about my life before Jesus but today being Fathers Day and all I couldn't help thinking about Daddy.

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  6. Tori, thank you for sharing. I'm so glad your father is with Jesus!

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  7. Tori,

    Thank you for sharing your Dad's story. It is a beautiful example of forgiveness and I am so glad that your Dad accepted the Lord.

    Blessings,

    Carol

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  8. Tori, What a wonderful story! And the good news is that there is no ending to this story. There's all eternity to spend with your dad.
    Thank you so much for sharing your dad with us. It touched me to tears.

    ~Kristi

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  9. Wiping tears...appreciating your honesty...and I'm sure your Daddy was very proud of you.

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  10. Tori, what an incredible story. It brought tears to my eyes. I'm so glad your Dad is with Jesus and that what you went through in your childhood is helping you minister to the people in Croatia. Thank you for sharing this beautiful story.

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  11. Tori - I was restless tonight and "stumbled" upon your site through the blogroll. I'm so glad I did! I want to thank you for sharing your dad's story with openness and honesty. What a tender heart you have and you are right... God did have a purpose for good. I'm looking forward to reading more and more of your posts.

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  12. Thank you ladies. Like I said I don't often talk about my past, some people seem to take it wrong but I can't remember Daddy without remembering his story. Thank you for all the sweet comments, you've all made my day!

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  13. I just linked over here from Mrs. R's Be not conformed and read this. It brought tears to my eyes. You are blessed in so many ways just by having the grace to feel the way you do about your father. You were definitely dealt lemons and made lemonade. I am blessed by your words.
    Trixi

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  14. Hi Tori, I came upon your blog from Kelli's Blog. What a wonderful story about your Daddy. It touched my heart. What a joy to know you will see him again.

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  15. This touched me so much......

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  16. Wow, Tori. I am so happy for you your Daddy got saved. You have such a beautiful spirit.

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Hey thanks in advance for leaving a comment, sure do appreciate it!!

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