6.17.2012

Happy Father's Day Dad

Wayne & Connie Strickland (2012)
I am so fortunate to have a father who has loved me from the first day I came into this world. Wayne and Connie Strickland adopted me while I was still in the intensive care unit.  I was born premature and weighed just over four pounds.  He was a truck driver so I remember that when he was home, it was for days at a time. Also, he was gone for days at a time but Mom certainly held her own.  Dad would make sure we had plenty of things to do, whether it be taking weekend getaways to the campground or just going for a ride somewhere, we would spend time together.  I'd like to share a few of my many memories of my time with Dad.


Riding On The Lawnmower: It was so much fun to ride on his lap and "act" like I was steering as he sang "Ole Clementine".  He made mowing look real easy as I found out the first time I was old enough to mow by myself.  It didn't occur to me that you had to go in a pattern.  He was there to fix it.


Campground Living: Dad kept us pretty busy with trips to two different campgrounds.  Fishing was his favorite thing to do.  I treasure now the times we had on the water.  I only wish now there could have been more.  One time the boat motor went out and he got out and pushed the boat for what seemed forever down the bank of the Chesapeake Bay River. That was a great illustration for what he has constiently done for me.  Pushing me when I lose power.  He has always been my hero but that day he seemed to be Superman.  I would always want to play with the campground kids, but sure enough when supper time rolled around, he would ride the campground on his red bike until he found me and got me home.


My Teenage Years: As I said earlier, my dad was a truck driver.  He worked for Mclean Trucking Company. As a child I would love to go with him to the terminal to see those big trucks and if I were lucky be able to climb in one and blow the horn.  When I was thirteen he was transferred to Lyman, SC.  We moved to Spartanburg and grew roots.  Shortly after McLean went under and we were forced with a choice.  God had begun to do great things in my life with church, school, etc.  Instead of going to another trucking company which surely would have meant another move, he took a much smaller job that kept us in Spartanburg. He and my mom sacrificed a lot to keep us there.  I will always be grateful for their sacrifices and love.


Adult Years:  My parents grew much wiser as I grew older. (Actually, I began to understand things more clearer).  I always thought of my dad when I used to drive the big fire trucks. I kind of felt like I was following in his footsteps. There have been times we have lived close to each other but for the last eight years we are 5 hours away.  I miss him and mom so much.  We almost lost him a few years ago to an Aortic Aneurysm. God and Dr. Littlefield both played a part in saving him from that. Being away is hard and I pray everyday for God to watch over them.  I know that they are in God's hand.


My father showed me what it meant to be a man, how to treat a lady and how to keep God first in all I do.  Dad if you are reading this, please know that your boy Jamie loves you and I hope you have a very happy Father's day.


ALSO . . .


Landrum and Gladys Reece
My Father In Law, Landrum Reece has been a hero to me as well.  He has faithfully served the Lord and preached for many years.  He is a constant encourager to me and help as I pastor, too.  Both he and my mother in law were widowed so it was really neat to see how God brought them together.  Actually, he was the pastor that officiated our wedding.  He continues to be a rock for Donna's mother and the entire family.  Happy Father's Day Dad!


Finally,
Don Simpson
I have not had the chance to meet Donna's father because God brought him home when Donna was only 13.  Mr. Simpson, you made and raised two beautiful daughters.  I cannot wait until we meet face to face someday. Donna and I honor you this day as well.