Every time I find new books to read, take a hike, fix banana pudding, or grill on a summer Saturday night; I think of my dad. His early life was a tangle of family pain and displacement. He proved the difference a few mentors make and rose above his dysfunctional beginnings. He died in June of 1994. Flying to Kansas City for his service, I tried to put into words who my dad was to me. I share my tribute here to celebrate the man who gave me more than life, he showed me a good way to live.
A Man of Texture, He
by Debbie Goodwin
A man of texture he, my father was:
Of unsanded edges and hand-carved humor.
With corrugated stubbornness and generosity, soft-piled,
He pieced his life like a rag rug where variety and contrast
Produced its own continuity.
A man of nature he, my father was.
Of redwood endurance and ocean rhythms,
A star-gazer, dawn-treader;
He wandered cave and forest,
Hiked canyon and rock edge,
Would rather tent than motel.
He sailed and fished
And telescoped God’s world
And always found it good!
A man of books he, my father was:
From Reader’s Digest Condensed
To Michener, unabridged;
He bought them,
A man of hobbies he, my father was.
If it came in a kit or suggested in a book,
He wanted to try it
A man of God he, my father was:
Of uncomplicated theology
And simple trust,
He preached God’s Word.
He lived God’s Word.
He shared God’s Word with me.
A man of miles he, my father was.
Two million miles and more
But now he rests
With miles no more to go.
He is home