Daddy unwrapped the Braunschweiger, cheese, and jelly sandwich and smelled it. “My favorite,” he exclaimed, all smiles. He took a big bite, smiled and gave me a hug.
I think back and shudder at the horrible meal offered, and yet marvel at the graciousness and love of my dad. He could have spit it out, made fun, or thrown it away, but he didn’t. He expressed appreciation for what I offered and excused the culinary cluelessness of an eight-year-old trying to please her father.
I was my Daddy’s girl. A surprise appearance at age 53, my father doted on his baby girl with three teenage siblings. As a little girl, I tagged behind Dad everywhere he would allow: hunting, fishing, even the dump. But his gas station was my favorite place to be. Dad allowed me to peck at his old Remington, play in his office, and get a nickel candy bar or a dime Coke© with a handful of Spanish peanuts.
Since Dad worked most weekends, I decided to treat him to a special homemade Father’s Day lunch. Dad loved Braunschweiger. I found the liverwurst spread in the refrigerator. It smelled awful. It looked so much like peanut butter, I figured it would taste better with jelly.
The liverwurst spread easily on a slice of bread. Another slice was heaped full of grape jelly. It still needed something more. I found some lettuce, cheese and pickles and added them to the evolving Dagwood sandwich. Finally it was complete. I wrapped it carefully in foil, added some chips to the meal, and walked the couple blocks to OK Cities Service.
I was all smiles when Dad saw me. “What have we here?” he asked.
“Your lunch!” I bubbled. I was so proud of my accomplishment.
“I only made one,” I said, holding it up to him. “A special treat just for you.”
“What a sweet girl you are,” he said. He took another big bite and smacked his lips. He ate the whole thing and seemed to enjoy every bite as much as the first.
I learned a lot from my dad in the short twenty-one years I knew him. The grace and love he showed that day taught me to strive for that quality in my life. He displayed patience under fire and taught me I could have patience in difficult situations too. His steadfast belief in what was right and good and standing up for one’s beliefs no matter what gave me a rock of stability. He was a fair and honest man who only wanted the best for me. I think back often and reflect on his character. I am thankful for the example and the legacy he left. Thank you, Dad.
It also reminds me of my heavenly Father. God’s grace and mercy abound daily although I do not deserve it. His love is unconditional and forever. I may serve him spiritual liverwurst from time to time, thinking I’ve given my best. He smiles, knowing that I will grow and learn as I mature. Patiently, He waits to teach – waits to love – waits to welcome. His steadfast love is a Rock and a secure place. He wants the supreme best for me, and for everyone – so He gave his very best – His Son, so we could be part of His family. Thank you, Father.