Keeping The Door Open
I once heard that if you give up hope on someone, you are
slamming the door on the face of God.
Have you ever done that? Have you ever thought "Oh, he'll never
change." I know I have. One example is how I felt about my
I often joke about English being a second language to both my
parents. Spanish being my mothers first and English being a
second language to my father, because he grew up in Louisiana.
The southern part of Louisiana.
Therefore I am not bi-lingual but I am multi-lingual. It is
just that anthropologist have not yet given a name for the
languages I am actually capable of speaking.
However, if someone were to say "He was a ripplin' and a
cutting up, a hackin' and a hewin'." I would know what they were
talking about. Do you? Okay then. That should count for
Most of my memories of my father have him doing something,
fishing, watching T.V., or fixing something but a beer was
always close in reach. Not mine, but his. Even in all the old
black and white photographs. There is dad, just as handsome as
can be, with a cowboy hat, t-shirt, jeans, boots and beer bottle
in one hand and holding on to a child with the other.
My father didn't have many outside interest beyond fishing and
hunting. If you want to add insult to that injury, know that God
blessed him with six daughters, not sons. You grow up thinking
things are normal until you are old enough to compare your
family with the families of your friends and realize your family
Normal families had cats, dog & birds as pets. We had them too,
but we also had chickens, turkeys & goats. They served two
purposes. One, the kids can play with them and two, when times
get rough you can eat 'em. Did I mention that we didn't live in
the country but in the suburbs? The children also participated
in the slaughtering of these animals, who at one time were
thought of as pets. Not the children the animals. My father grew
up poor and these were survival skills he was passing on, which
is great, because now if a wild goat ever wonders in my back
yard..... well, I'll know what to do.
We loved and enjoyed our time with our father when we were
small but there comes a time when teenage girls go their own way
and Dad's are left to themselves. Unfortunately, my dad spent
way too much time alone and seemed to miss so much going on
around him, even when he was invited to join in. He preferred
the isolation and the beer.
Two years ago my father fell and could not get up. He was alone
and on the floor for three days before being found. He had
broken a shoulder and was in such poor physical condition he
couldn't move. I can't tell you how terrible we all felt for not
having checked in on him.
He spent months in the hospital, due to discoveries of multiple
health challenges and surgeries. It was a long road to recovery
for him to get back home.
I was grateful that hospitals don't allow patients to drink but
they do allow family members to visit, and the family rallied
My father came home and regained his health. Life without
drinking has opened up a whole new world for my father. He
enjoys visiting with his grandchildren and sitting in for a
family game of poker.
He takes walks, makes friends with his neighbors and LOVES to
shop. He is constantly buying everyone presents, almost to a
fault. He is funny, friendly and enjoyable to be around.
This last Christmas he joined the family and it was the first
holiday, in twenty-eight years, we had both mom and dad in the
same room. He is making his peace and our lives are more
enjoyable with him.
Yes, sometimes we do slam the door on the face of God but the
good news is God is still able to re-open the door, long enough
to show us what is on the other side.