When Father Fell off the Pedastal

74204_1542025663466_951947_nPalo Alto Times and had an entire page with all his exotic recipes such as Swedish Meatballs and Chicken Curry. (Remember this was the 50’s and‘60’s.) I have early morning memories of his getting up before anyone else and putting on coffee and reading the paper. I’m sure he cherished a few minutes of quiet in our cramped little house. By the time we kids were up he had chocolate chip pancakes or eggs and bacon frying on the electric grill. I know my father invented chocolate chip pancakes because it was years before I saw them listed on a restaurant menu.

Strange, that even with his gourmet bent, my father would eat anything. Many a night I remember him snacking on a Velveeta cheese, mayo, and peanut butter sandwich. I shudder to think how that might have contributed to his premature death of heart failure. And I gag, thinking what a hideous combo of foods to stick between two slices of white bread.

As lighthearted as he was, he had strong feelings about politics. The one big talk I remember him sitting us down for was to explain the horrors of communism. We knew it was a serious subject as he called us all into the living room for counsel. Dad was rarely serious.

He gave us children a happy childhood. But, one day the pedestal cracked and my father tumbled down. It forced me to see my father as a mere human. Somehow he had hidden the unhappiness in his marriage to my mother and decided to divorce her and marry another woman. Heartache followed all of us as we knew our family would never be the same. It took many years for our mom to move forward.

But I think of this verse in the book of Daniel. />Daniel 9:9 “The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him.” My memory of my father is warm. He was a flawed human, as we all are, and did damage to our family. But, my memory of my father is warm. Right before he died, he told me he had made peace with the Lord.

God is merciful and forgiving. I know I will meet Dad in heaven. I’ll find him playing practical jokes on St. Peter and inventing unusual sandwiches. Maybe he’ll even whip up some chocolate chip pancakes for me.

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