Musings From A Musical Mind

Posts tagged ‘University of Washington’

A Good Father

Tomorrow we celebrate another Father’s Day.  I am fortunate to still have my father – he is pushing 80 and that is very hard to believe!  Some of my friends younger than me have already lost their father.  Some do not have pleasant memories of their biological father.  Some have emotionally disconnected because of that.  Some never knew their father.  Some of those relationships were complicated.  And like there are so many different individuals and personality types – so there is father and child.

What does it mean to be a good father?  If you were lucky like my sister and me – who had a good father – one who was steady and hard-working, who loved the Lord and his wife – then you were blessed.

So many do not have a legacy like this one.  My own father does not.  With a biological father who fled when he was a baby and a biological mother who abandoned him at a young age – he had absolutely no idea and no role models to show him how to be a good father.   The family that raised him taught him how to work hard.  And he was determined to be a better person and example than that of his parents.  In recent years he has written of his experiences growing up with this family on a farm in northern Canada.  He chooses to remember the good and to take all things taught him, to be generous in nature and finances and God has truly blessed him.

My father was a young father – just 22 years old when my sister was born – he was mature for his age because of his life experiences.  But my mother and father were very poor and going to school was difficult for them and they had to work hard for my father to have any education and succeed.  As a little girl I remember spending the summers in Missoula, Montana for him to work little by little on his master’s degree in music.  The summers were hot and sticky and we spent much of our childhood in little plastic swimming pools with the neighbor kids.  My father was a high school teacher in Calgary, Alberta – our home until I was 8 years old.

In 1969 we moved to Seattle, Washington so my father could pursue his doctorate at the University of Washington.  Times were hard.  There was very little money – but as a kid I don’t remember being poor like my parents do.  It took about 3 years for my father to earn his Ph.D all the while teaching part-time at Northwest University in Kirkland (formally known as Northwest College).  His special distinction is that he was the youngest and the first man to receive his doctorate at the College – and still a Canadian.

I remember during those years it was important for us to be quiet in the evenings so my father could study.  He was always studying for another exam and another level that would earn him the ultimate goal of that doctorate.  But once a week – he would put away his studies and we would have a family night where we would watch our favorite TV programs and eat cake.

The father/daughter relationship is not too difficult to understand – it is simple and straightforward, uncomplicated.  I have seen this same understanding in our own daughter and her father.   The adoration of father/daughter goes both ways without effort.  But I have seen Greg relate to each of our children in different ways.  With a son it is much more difficult over time – especially as that son grows up and becomes a man.  The son tries his whole life to gain the approval of his father – while the daughter does not have to prove anything – she just is.

I believe that Greg has had his own issues to come to grips with concerning his own father.  It is in the things spoken or written that are sometimes hurtful, though well-intentioned – but also in the things that are not spoken.  Being and staying a good father is like walking a tight-rope as your children are not small anymore – but have their own lives and families.  And it is much harder for a father of a daughter to accept a son-in-law as another man now enters the picture and takes over where he has always been king.

We are both lucky in that we have wonderful memories of our father.  It seems incredible that we are as old as we are – and that our own fathers are as old as they are too!  But what we’ve learned over the years is this:  some things are timeless and unspoken between a father and his children.  Hopes, dreams, plans and happiness are always there in a silent prayer as you watch your legacy continue through your own children and grandchildren.  And if you are lucky enough to have a Christian praying father then you are indeed blessed.

Happy Father’s Day to all of you Dads out there!  May your children have fond memories and speak well of you when you are old.

God Bless

Here is a great song of dedication for all you Dads out there!

Shadows are falling and I’m running out of breath
Keep me in your heart for awhile

If I leave you it doesn’t mean I love you any less
Keep me in your heart for awhile

When you get up in the morning and you see that crazy sun
Keep me in your heart for awhile

There’s a train leaving nightly called when all is said and done
Keep me in your heart for awhile

Sha-la-la-la-la-la-la-li-li-lo
Keep me in your heart for awhile

Sha-la-la-la-la-la-la-li-li-lo
Keep me in your heart for awhile

Sometimes when you’re doing simple things
around the house
Maybe you’ll think of me and smile

You know I’m tied to you like the buttons on
your blouse
Keep me in your heart for awhile

Hold me in your thoughts, take me to your dreams
Touch me as I fall into view
When the winter comes keep the fires lit
And I will be right next to you

Engine driver’s headed north to Pleasant Stream
Keep me in your heart for awhile

These wheels keep turning but they’re running out
of steam
Keep me in your heart for awhile

Sha-la-la-la-la-la-la-li-li-lo
Keep me in your heart for awhile

Sha-la-la-la-la-la-la-li-li-lo
Keep me in your heart for awhile

Keep me in your heart for awhile

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On A Clear Day

Driving to Seattle on a clear day is very revealing.  It shows me what I’ve been missing all the other days of the year.  The things that are there, yet hidden.  The Cascade Mountains, for one.  Suddenly I’m aware that my world isn’t so small after all – and just beyond my ability to perceive them lies untold beauty.

Views of Gas Works Park and Lake Union facing ...

Views of Gas Works Park and Lake Union facing towards the North East from Queen Anne, Seattle WA. The Lake Washington Ship Canal Bridge is in the background with a backdrop of the University of Washington and the Cascade Mountains. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

How many times are we like a cloudy, rainy day in our thoughts – going along through the day with all the correct motions and intentions, and yet perceiving our world as much smaller than it really is.

I was challenged to take a lesson from nature – open up my eyes and LOOK around me – for things I cannot see with my natural limited senses.  I want to reach far beyond the box of “normal” and see with God eyes all the beauty I’m missing.

I thought of the song “On a clear day you can see forever” and was reminded that it is clearness in both our eyes and thoughts that can give us that unique perspective on things around us.  And I want to always remember what is invisible when the storms of life close in on me and I cannot see.

Dear Lord – help me to hang on to that clear vision from those clear days – and to use it when those tough times close in around me.

When was the last time you saw things with “clear vision”?

I heard the following song on Spotify today from a local Seattle band – and have been writing this article with this tune in my head.

Enjoy and God Bless

Tell me somethin’, give me hope for the night
We don’t know how we feel
We’re just prayin’ that we’re doin’ this right
Though that’s not the way it seems

Summer gone, now winter’s on its way
I will miss the days we had
The days we had
I will miss the days we had
The days we had
Oh, I’ll miss the days we had

Loving, leaving, it’s too late for this now
Such esteem for each has gone
Has time driven our season away?
Cause that’s the way it seems
In the world of the speech that is new
I’ll be back again to stay
Again to stay
I’ll be back again to stay
Again to stay
I’ll be back again to stay

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