It was early and the kids were not awake yet. I unpacked the final box from my mother’s estate when I found what I was searching for.
I opened the worn and tattered bible that Mother had pressed in my hands that final day. All the memories of our family devotions time came flooding back.
First to the days when my brother and I would argue about which side of the cereal box we got to read as it sat between us during breakfast, instead of listening to the Word as Mother lovingly read to us. Then, on to the days when we started following what she said, as it finally made sense to us. And further still, to the days when we left home to venture out on our own, realizing what a blessing those morning devotions with Mother had been.
I had never read my mom’s bible before. I had my own from our Sunday school class. I was intrigued by the love that was worn into the pages, or worn off of the pages, depending on the moment, I would guess. I lovingly turned the pages and something fluttered to the floor.
I reached down and picked up a postcard, as worn and tattered as the book that it was tucked into. The picture on the front was of blue-green water and white clouds, with just the word ‘Hope’ in the corner. I turned over the card and realized it was a note from my dad.
My dad had died in the Vietnam War. I was only 4 and my brother was 2. He doesn’t remember Dad at all, and I only have distant child’s memories of the times we spent together.
I pray that God is watching out for each of my precious ones at home. It seems like forever since we have been together, and I miss each of you. I miss seeing you. I miss holding you. But most of all, I miss praying together with you. Those mornings we would spend reading the Word while snuggled in bed are memories I cherish.
Will write soon.
All my love, Dan”
The date on the postmark was only 2 weeks prior to the date he was shot and died in the line of duty.
It was not until that moment that I realized what those morning devotions truly were. They were a legacy from my dad. Mother had never told us. She just tenderly kept sharing the Word each morning spending time with her Father, and the memory of our dad.
I tucked the precious card back between the pages, and called the kids down for breakfast. As they sat down and squabbled about which color glass each would get, I gently opened that old Book, and started reading to them, a small tear falling down my cheek every once in a while.
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