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  • My Father’s Book

    December 13, 2009

    By Antique Daddy

    Earlier in the year, I found myself standing before a bookcase where I noticed the two-volume series The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah.  These books had belonged to my father, a preacher, and then later my oldest brother, also a preacher.

    My father was thrown from a horse and killed when I was eleven.  Six years later when I was 17, my oldest brother was killed in a motorcycle accident.  He was only 27 and left behind his pregnant wife and unborn child.  The loss of these two men who never saw their children grown, profoundly changed not just my life, but the life of my son who would never benefit from having known them.

    I pulled the book from the shelf and looked through it for a moment.  I noticed my father’s rather distinctive  signature in the front cover.  I called Sean over to come take a look at the book.  I explained to him that this book had belonged to his grandfather and then I showed him the signature.

    Then something interesting happened.  Rather than barely taking notice and then running off to play as you might expect of a five-year-old, he took the book and held it reverently in his hands.  He lightly brushed his fingers over the signature.

    For a long moment he stood holding the book, gazing at the signature.  Then he looked off at the wall as he continued to gently rub the book.  His eyes noticeably began to fill with tears.  Finally he handed the book back and asked if I had any other books that had belonged to his grandfather.

    My throat tightened with emotion as I wondered what he was thinking. I wanted to ask, but decided instead to let him own that moment as his own.  My wife and I exchanged glances.  We both understood that something remarkable had happened, something that we could sense but could not see.

    Later that night, as my wife tucked him into bed, she asked him what he had been thinking.  He told her that he was looking into a clock and wondering what it would be like to know his grandfather.

    Fatherhood has brought me many unexpected poignant moments; sometimes as a witness and other times, like this one, as a participant.  And that is perhaps one of the greatest blessings of fatherhood, to share in those poignant moments with my child.

    Every day I thank God for this incredible gift that is my son, this answered prayer, this miracle he performed in our lives, the miracle that we had given up on, that we had all but conceded.  I thank Him for those special moments, for the joy and the depth of meaning that fatherhood has brought me.

    And I pray that He will bless my efforts to be a good father and that he will see fit to bless me, that I might live to see him into manhood.

    39 Comments »

    1. Ann says:

      What a beautiful, beautiful post. I was thinking as I read it how the loss of these men in your life also profoundly changed how you parent and how you value these moments with your son — a gift (one of the greatest) that they were able to give you in their passing. I believe somehow that the souls of those we love are woven into these special moments.

      I lost my mom two years ago, and lost her before that to Alzheimer’s and have raised my daughter with a similar sense of loss and gratitude. Thanks so much for sharing your heart.

      December 13th, 2009 at 10:27 am

    2. Ann says:

      p.s. Merry Christmas to you 3. May you be richly blessed this season.

      December 13th, 2009 at 10:28 am

    3. Becky says:

      Lovely.

      December 13th, 2009 at 11:09 am

    4. Donna P says:

      Absolutely beautiful, Sean is a very lucky little boy. Perhaps, the miracle was chosen for you from HIM because you both deserved that precious miracle!

      I love this website for its insight into life!

      December 13th, 2009 at 12:05 pm

    5. Tom says:

      I think God is definitely blessing you to be a good father. By His grace and your efforts, your son has reverence, which is a wonderful, priceless gift. I hope to do as well with my son.

      December 13th, 2009 at 1:23 pm

    6. jean says:

      You have given your son a wonderful gift. He is wise beyond his age and yet so beautifully innocent.

      December 13th, 2009 at 2:00 pm

    7. meghan @ spicy magnolia says:

      It is simply remarkable to pause and soak up a poignant moment like that that will be etched in your hearts and minds forever. I would say there is nothing quite like it in all the world. And at this time of year, I’ve wondered more than ever since I now have a little boy, what were the poignant moments Mary shared with Jesus as a young one? Thank you for sharing an incredible moment.

      December 13th, 2009 at 2:02 pm

    8. Deborah says:

      Beautiful.

      December 13th, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    9. Roxanne says:

      And the blessings continue to fall. . .thank you for sharing this.

      December 13th, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    10. Jenny says:

      What a beautiful post. Your family is lovely!

      December 13th, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    11. Carrie says:

      Aw, so nice to hear from AD! Thanks for sharing with us! What a beautiful story!

      December 13th, 2009 at 3:21 pm

    12. Linda says:

      Absolutely, perfectly beautiful. Thank you!

      December 13th, 2009 at 4:48 pm

    13. Kelly @ Love Well says:

      This is poignant, AD. Sean is incredibly perceptive for a five-year-old.

      * * *
      He has sort of an old soul about him, a certain depth, that frankly, sometimes scares us.

      December 13th, 2009 at 5:03 pm

    14. Jan says:

      What a powerful post. I too was lacking in grandparents, since 3 of the 4 died before I was born. I felt such a wistful yearning to know a grandfather, to know my other grandmother. I treasure the few stories and pictures I have of them. You are so blessed, and so is Sean.

      December 13th, 2009 at 8:08 pm

    15. Elizabeth says:

      What a beutiful post that shows how lucky Sean is to have loving, spiritual and perceptive parents to watch over him. What a special family!

      December 13th, 2009 at 9:38 pm

    16. RefreshMom says:

      Beautiful! Sean is a lucky boy to have such a legacy of words from both of you.

      How blessed he will be to have a record of these moments that he’ll forget to remember but will cherish one day.

      Mary

      December 13th, 2009 at 11:39 pm

    17. Quirky says:

      okay weeping copiously over here. What a lovely thought from AD.

      December 14th, 2009 at 1:08 am

    18. momof8 says:

      So beautiful, thank you. Antique Mommy and Antique Daddy, you are very special and loved to be blessed with such a precious son.

      December 14th, 2009 at 1:24 am

    19. Kathy Vaughan says:

      I feel privileged to have had you share this beautiful moment with me. Sean is a remarkable child, and it’s obvious that his parents are nurturing him well. I too pray that you might live to see the remarkable man that I am sure he will become.

      December 14th, 2009 at 5:12 am

    20. Catch the Kids says:

      What a remarkable Dad you are. Sean is a lucky boy.

      December 14th, 2009 at 6:42 am

    21. aggiejenn@ReflectingHim says:

      What a beautiful post. Thank you for sharing it with us.

      December 14th, 2009 at 9:45 am

    22. jj says:

      Thank you for sharing that with us.It is so wonderful GOD chose you both to be Seans parents. A>D> you must have had some great role models in your life . It seems you turned out really loving GOD and you show HIS love to those around you.

      December 14th, 2009 at 10:03 am

    23. Steffj89 says:

      I have been very blessed in my life, to have known all of my grandparents, the first didn’t pass until I was in my early twenties and my grandmother is 92 this year and upset that we think she is too old to cook the entire Christmas dinner. My children are blessed to know not only their grandparents, but my grandma as well. They too have a reverence for the family history that is amazing for their young age, and though I would like to take credit for it, somehow I think its more spiritual, and from God, than from me.
      My five year old often talks about missing the granddad that lived with baby grandma(my grandma) because he, “knows he wanted to pway with me best”
      steff

      December 14th, 2009 at 10:55 am

    24. Knighton says:

      Not fair making a girl cry first thing in the morning. at the office.

      Well done, AD.

      December 14th, 2009 at 11:17 am

    25. Bitsy says:

      And how perfectly wonderful that the book was about Jesus who has made sure, by His sacrifice, that Sean will one day know his granddad. Our good Lord certainly is blessing your efforts!

      December 14th, 2009 at 1:52 pm

    26. Pat says:

      Absolutely lovely – God has blessed you all with sensitive spirits.

      December 14th, 2009 at 3:23 pm

    27. zoom says:

      Beautiful.

      December 14th, 2009 at 3:51 pm

    28. Amy says:

      I see that AD can make me get all teary just as easily as AM. It must run in the family…

      This post was beautiful. Made me think of my boy who is growing up without either one of his grandfathers. Sean is truly blessed to have you both.

      December 14th, 2009 at 5:20 pm

    29. SheilaG says:

      What a beautiful memory you have bottled up that is so meaningful to you, and to your son.

      I have often bottled up moments with my girls, too–things that I know are important that I will remind them of someday.

      My girls have known their grandparents, but they did not know their brother. He died before Katie was born, and when Rebecca was still a baby. They still are very reverent with his picture, and like to show it to friends when they come over.

      I remember once when Katie proudly told a friend that she had a brother, too, and he’s checking out heaven for her so when she gets there he can show her around (she was 7 and paranoid of getting lost at the time). It’s amazing how acutely children feel loss of family members, even if they have never met.

      Thanks for the reminder, and the tears!

      Visit To Love, Honor and Vacuum today!

      December 14th, 2009 at 7:11 pm

    30. Dianne says:

      Sigh. That is so precious and beautiful. What a lovely blessing for you both.

      December 14th, 2009 at 7:17 pm

    31. LauraLee@Selah says:

      Antique Daddy,

      Powerful stuff. Wow, beautifully written and a gift to all who are reading.

      LauraLee

      December 14th, 2009 at 7:19 pm

    32. Nikki says:

      What a precious, precious moment! My children, too, will never know one of their grandfathers. He died 2 days after Christmas and 6 months before I got married. He did know my husband and was looking forward to our wedding. I’m so glad that AD has something special of his father’s to share with your son!

      December 14th, 2009 at 9:56 pm

    33. Cynthia says:

      AD, many parts of your post are making it hard to stop crying…sad for the losses you suffered at such a young age…and moved at how the loss touches Sean already. Amazing that he can already sense what has been lost. My mom died a sudden death when I was 13 years old, and my dad died suddenly also when I was 28. Now that I’m a mom to two young boys those losses have yet another layer of sting, so much lost opportunity. Praise God for us all that we have a high priest who is not unfamiliar with suffering and loss. May He always comfort you, AM, and Sean.

      December 14th, 2009 at 11:12 pm

    34. Jan says:

      Beautiful. May God continue to bless you and your “miracle.”

      December 15th, 2009 at 12:25 am

    35. Lea says:

      Very beautiful story. It is important to know our ancestors.

      December 16th, 2009 at 12:46 am

    36. Minnesotamom says:

      Such a poignant post. Thanks, AD, for sharing this moment with us.

      December 16th, 2009 at 2:48 pm

    37. Kathryn says:

      What a beautiful post, and such a special moment with your son…

      December 18th, 2009 at 6:08 pm

    38. Amy says:

      Wonderful.Thank you.

      December 19th, 2009 at 6:37 pm

    39. Iota says:

      Beautiful post, Antique Daddy. Didn’t know you were a writer, as well as Antique Mommy.

      December 19th, 2009 at 11:25 pm

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