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On a Day Like Today …

24 Jun

A time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance.
Ecclesiastes 3:4

On a day like today, I find it difficult to grasp the fact that I am an adult woman and not an innocent little girl who adores her Daddy. My thoughts, my memories and my heart are all taking me back to a day and time when my world revolved around my parents and my brothers … a world where life seemed to be so simple and very safe. I wouldn’t necessarily say that it was always calm and without noise, for a family is all about emotions and moods, good days and bad, sunshine and rain. Snowstorms and snow days. Dogs and cats. Neighbor kids and bicycles. ’55 Chevys and shammy towels. Yes, shammy towels. Google it. It’s a wonder we didn’t get them for Christmas! Fishing poles and night crawlers. I could go on and on. That’s where I am today. It’s nice, but it also hurts.

unnamed

Me and Daddy 1967

My little-girl world fell apart 22 years ago today. I was 33 years old at the time, but life as I had always known it had changed in the instant of a heartbeat. Literally. I remember the feeling of utter disbelief and helplessness when I received the phone call that he was gone.

So here I am today. I posted a bunch of pictures of my Dad this morning on Facebook. In his honor, I stopped and picked up a coffee on my way to work…Daddy loved coffee. I chatted about him to my accommodating co-worker as we both began our work day. I sent an ‘I love you, brother!’ to both boys this morning.  I texted my mom, complete with a row or two of emojis that represented Daddy. She got a big kick out of that, so I challenged her to come up with her own cutie little icons! I then slipped out of the office for a few moments to call her, just to hear her voice and to let her hear mine. We laughed about our selections of emojis and about how silly we were, and also talked about how much we miss him.

 

After work, I stopped at Kohl’s. As I walked through the store, I kept thinking how the world goes on as usual for everyone around me … they have no idea that my Daddy died 22 years ago today. On my way out of the store, I passed an older gentleman who was sitting on the bench in the entrance, no doubt biding time with his cell phone while his wife shopped. I couldn’t believe that I had this passing thought to go up and hug him! Debbie … get a grip! My next ‘I must do this today’ was to stop and wash my car. Unfortunately I do not have a shammy towel, but I thought of Daddy the whole time I was washing and wiping my car dry.

 

The day is winding down now and soon it will be June 25th. God does give Morsels of Mercy to us in the fact that tomorrow does come and it will be a brand new day. It’s only natural to feel the loss deeper on certain days, but thankfully we don’t stay there. Family is coming for a visit over the 4th of July weekend, and we are looking forward to and are excited to celebrate life and freedom together!

 

Won’t you join me in thanking God for Daddies and little girls, sweet memories of years gone by, and the anticipation of tomorrow?   And best of all, with Jesus as the Lord of our life, we also have the promise of eternal life!

Until next time,
Debbie

Weeping may last for a night, but joy comes in the morning.
Psalm 30:5

 

 

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Dear Daddy

24 Jun

 The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it,
for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp.
 The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth
will bring their splendor into it.
  On no day will its gates ever be shut,
for there will be no night there.

Revelation 21:23-25

 

Life is busy and it always seems like there are never enough hours in a day to accomplish the to-do list.  So, I usually don’t make one any more.  If it gets done, then terrific.  If it doesn’t, then there’s tomorrow.  The dust accumulates, the laundry piles up, and the grass needs to be cut every few days.  In the midst of the normal and the usual, there remains a void.  A vacancy that entered my life 21 years ago.  It came without being invited or even expected, although there were all kinds of symptoms pointing out the obvious.  Denial maybe, or simply love wouldn’t let my heart and my mind go there.  But it happened anyway.

 

Me and my Daddy

Me and my Daddy

It’s that time of year, you know.  Father’s Day, June 24th, and then your 59th wedding anniversary on July 7th.  We really don’t need these special days to remember you.  You truly do live on in our hearts and in our minds.  We post pictures of you on Facebook and tell stories about ’55 Chevys, fishing trips, vacations and working midnights at Ford Motor Company.   These photos and tales trigger personal nuggets of warm fond memories that usually bring a smile to the hearts of friends and family.

 

I often wonder what you would think about some of the trends of the day, like Starbucks.  You, the king of coffee – would you have become a coffee snob and preferred the fresh roasted coffee beans of the local coffee shops?   How about cable TV, laptop computers and tablets, and smart phones?  Mother just upgraded to one and is even impressing me with her ability to conquer the newest technology of an iphone 6!  Would you two share a cell phone or would you both need to have your own so Mom could track you down at the lake and remind you that it was soon time for supper?  Sigh …

 

Much talk of a grand reunion of great friends and brothers in Christ has taken place in the past few months since Bro. Bill Denny passed away in February.  I’m sure you enjoy watching the shuffle board tournaments along the Streets of Gold as you cast your fishing line out into the Crystal River nearby.  I also wonder about the trends of the day there … what is it like to be reunited with life-long friends and loved ones?  Does Heaven have seasons?  Are your hunting beagles there, along with Pudgy, Toy, Angie … and my Scottie?  How about my sibling … my twin?  Did I have a sister or another brother?  And then there’s Jesus.  Do you actually fish, talk to others and walk about, or are you forever enthralled with the Presence of Jesus Himself?  Sigh …

 

Ryan and Kim with their grandpa

Ryan and Kim with their grandpa

You are never far from my thoughts, Daddy.  Somehow we have learned to live this crazy busy life without you.  We have loved, laughed and lived.  I miss you more than words could ever begin to express — I personally ache inside over my own loss of you not being in my children’s lives and in Cole and Lillie’s lives … and for the fact that you are not here growing old with mom.  Sigh …

 

I celebrate you today, Dad!  Even in the midst of the busy days, the thoughts of you, the random sadness that settles down on my spirit from time to time, even after 21 years, I celebrate you and the victory over death and the grave!  Heaven continues to get sweeter and sweeter with the passing of our friends and family.  It is quite possible that you still work the midnight shift (although Jesus will be the Light even at midnight!), coffee cup in one hand and the other outstretched to greet and welcome those arriving.  Someday …

 

I love you, Daddy!
Your Bobbie Naw

Happy Birthday, Daddy!

24 Dec

 

“This is a day you are to commemorate;
for the generations to come you shall celebrate
it as a festival to the Lord—a lasting ordinance.
Exodus 12:14

Dear Daddy,

Today’s the day! I echo the thought of every child around the world – Today’s Christmas Eve! But for me, in my child-like heart, this day is more than special because of Christmas. It’s your birthday!

As a young girl, I always thought there was something magical about the fact that your birthday was on Christmas Eve … it made the day more fun and added to the excitement and anticipation! Now that I’m all grown up, I realize that you so willingly shared your one day of the year with us kids and Mom, making sure that “all the stockings were hung by the chimney with care”. I love you, Dad!

Remi

Remi

Tim and I are on our way to Indy to spend the next few days with Mom and the family. Family – oh Daddy! Much has taken place since last year’s birthday letter. Your Grandpa heart would be a melted gooey mess these days as Tim and Courtney have been blessed with a new little life. Remington Kimber has brought an unexpected joy to the family, along with her adorable older sisters, Azure and Zarah. I’m sure that Remi’s daddy will fill her heart with stories and tales of her Grandpa Johnny and your love for her all the way from Heaven!

A special blessing will be added to the family in March when another great granddaughter arrives! Jay and Sue are excited as Jason and Leslie will be bringing a little sister home to Jaxon and Bo. I’m sure that you can remember those special days when you and Mom brought us kids home from the hospital … and then your “grandchillren”.

Enough about us here … let’s chat about your news! How about that Joe Talhelm?! I imagine you were a bit surprised to see him so soon! Did he tell you that I flew down to Louisiana to visit him and Becky back in April? Life has a way of turning crazy, unexpected and unthinkably difficult moments into morsels of mercy … wake-up calls , second chances, renewed opportunities, blessings and personal gifts from God. We will never understand  how all of that works.  Then Tim’s step-father, Bill ~ Jesus Himself no doubt introduced you to him. He was a good man, and Tim’s mom misses him so. I know that people say our loss is Heaven’s gain, but that doesn’t make it any easier for those who lost. I read this a few days ago …

“Christmas this year will be unavoidably sad for many people … perhaps for you.
Take heart!
Christmas needn’t be merry to be meaningful.
It’s the Christ of Christmas we celebrate,
not Christmas itself.”

Daddy, as your family gathers to celebrate Jesus during this Christmas season, please know that for those of us who you called your chillren, we will always celebrate YOU on December 24th … and everyday when we see you in the eyes of your siblings, in the actions of your grandkids, and in the hearts of all who loved you!

I love you, Daddy … happy birthday!

Until next time,
Your Bobby Naw

“Please excuse the mess … site under construction.”  In the midst of our recent move, our domain name expired causing us to unexpectedly and immediately change email addresses … causing a crash to my morselsofmercy site and its format of family pictures.  There is a fix to all things, but I simply have not felt like I could justify the time needed to put everything in its proper place again.  So, please excuse the mess.  At least there is new verbiage and an update to my crazy but blessed life. The pictures on the sidebar will be a pleasant surprise for another day.”

Happy 80th Birthday Daddy … and Merry Christmas!

24 Dec

“Honor your father and mother”–
which is the first commandment with a promise– 
“that it may go well with you and that you
may enjoy long life on the earth.”
Ephesians 6:2

Dear Daddy…

I’m sure the cries of a tiny baby born on Christmas Eve 80 years ago really added to the excitement of Christmas! I wonder, Daddy, if your arrival made the story of Baby Jesus become more tangible for your young brothers and sisters. There probably weren’t many gifts wrapped and placed under the tree in your home in that small coal mining town in the hills of Lee County, Virginia, but there was a new baby.

Oh what a party we would be having today if you were still here with us! The invitation list would be long – friends and family would gather, and those who couldn’t would send cards to you! And what fun you would have reading each and every card, over and over again, for days … adding your own few words to make it say exactly what you felt it should say! We would have balloons, party hats, streamers, and party blowouts that the kids of all ages would enjoy! We would hang a bright banner, announcing that we were celebrating your 80th birthday, and we would take lots of pictures, although you would ‘humbly’ say not to take any pictures of you! We would have cake and ice cream, along with all sorts of snacks and goodies. You would unwrap presents, no doubt with the help of all the little kids who like to do that sort of thing.  I imagine you would get a new pair of pajamas and a maybe new sweatshirt with tiny little painted hand prints all over the front … from the new generation of little ones in our family. We would watch several of our home movie DVDs and have a lot of laughs about how everyone has changed over the years. After everyone would go home and the house would be a bit less chaotic, my family would still be there … in town from Washington, Pennsylvania, and Maryland, for a few days to celebrate you, mom, and Christmas. Since I am still day-dreaming, the normal would be Mimi and Papaw Wells … and all would be right in the world, at least as we know it. What a wonderful day of celebrating you and 80 years!!

Daddy at his 60th birthday party

Daddy at his 60th birthday party

But life is what it is …. fragile. The last bright banner we hung in celebration of you announced your 60th birthday. The invitation list was long, the guests were many, the gifts were fun, and cards were poured over for days and days. After everyone had gone home and the house was a bit less chaotic, my young family was there, enjoying life as it was then with Grandma and Grandpa Wells. However, everything really was not right in the world even then. You had struggled with so much sickness for the past few years and you still were not real well, but we made the most of every opportunity that we had to celebrate you and your life. And that’s what I want to still do, as long as possible … to honor the man who loved my mom, his family and his Jesus. Happy 80th birthday, Daddy!

Me and Mom playing in the snow

Me and Mom playing in the snow

In celebration of the Christmas season this year, mom flew out to spend a few days with us here in Pennsylvania. We exchanged gifts with one another, and Kim’s two kids especially had a great time unwrapping fun presents from Mimi Wells! The highlight of our time was the additional 4” of snow that fell on our already white-covered ground on Saturday, creating a beautiful winter wonderland and an awesome playground for sledding down the big hill! Mom even giggled her way down the slope a couple of times! What fun we all had as we made new memories … and I know that mom was feeling the tug from memories past … of other snowfalls, other big hills, other little people, and you. After nearly 20 years without you, it’s all still bittersweet, Daddy. All of it.

Well, this Eve of Christmas will come to an end, soon to be announcing the arrival and celebration of Christ’s birth. But before it does, I simply ask the Lord to hand deliver this birthday letter to you … so you know that in my heart you are still loved deeply and celebrated not just on your birthday, but everyday!

Until next time,
Your Bobby Naw

Dear Daddy …

7 Jul

This is the day the LORD has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:24

Dad and Mom on their wedding day. July 7, 1956

Dad and Mom on their wedding day.
July 7, 1956

Happy Wedding Anniversary, Dad! It’s been 57 years today since you married that pretty young woman from Friendship Church. Considering all the stories that have been told of your wandering years from early teens until you met this special lady, committing yourself to her in marriage was a huge life-style change. And as they say, the rest is history.

25th Anniversary

25th Anniversary … 1981

It’s that time of year again, you know…between the middle of June into the first week of July, my mind and heart are heavy with thoughts of you. Father’s Day comes and goes with much celebration for those in my life who are dads, but there will always be an ache as I card shop, knowing that I must once again overlook the cards that say ‘To Dad ~ from your Daughter’. Then right around the corner rolls the 24th of June. It’s so hard to believe that it has now been 19 years since I have held your hand and felt your scruffy face against mine. And then today is your anniversary with mom. She and I were just talking about you on Friday and how much you have been on her mind … and how much she misses you. Especially on days like today. But today will very quickly turn into tomorrow, and the next day … and before we know it, the weather will begin to cool and the seasons change. There will be a nip in the air, along with the smell of burning leaves, and the realization of another year soon coming to a close. Another year without you…

Grandma and Grandpa Wells with baby Kimberly.

Grandma and Grandpa Wells with baby Kimberly…August 1983

I will always question why, you know. Why did you have to die at such a young age? 60 years old is right in the middle of loving grandchildren, just before retirement, and too soon to walk your beloved down the aisle at your grandchildren’s weddings and to hold their babies in your arms. Why? But the answer to that question is known only to God. In the midst of my tears that still fall, I continue to relinquish you and my loss of you to Him. And to trust Mom to Him, as well. She is most precious … but then you knew that 57 years ago.

Just a few weeks ago, Mom and I drove down to West Virginia to see Uncle Johnse. I had flown into Indy to attend the Nazarene Church General Assembly, and we decided to be spontaneous and make a quick trip to the boonies. What fun we had as we drove through the beautiful countryside, chatting about this and that, and reminiscing a lot about years gone by and our annual family vacations to visit relatives in West Virginia, Virginia, and Chattanooga. I’m sure you remember those trips well!! Especially the train trip into West Virginia … or more specifically, the return trip back home. I had gotten sick the last few days of our stay, so this 6 year-old little girl was still not feeling well when we began our journey back to Indy. I still remember vivid details of a large train station where our family was seated to eat breakfast. Orange juice, my sick tummy, a yucky mess all over me and the table, and you taking me into the men’s restroom to clean me up. I remember feeling very special and cared for by you … Oh the memories! I would love to know what you remember about that moment!

As mom and I meandered our way along the twisty-turny roads that have not changed much through the years, we eventually arrived at Lick Creek Holler and slowly drove the remaining 2 miles of gravel to the old home place. I know that you and mom loved to come visit Uncle Johnse and Aunt Bert … and as we pulled in, I wondered what all Mom was thinking and feeling as she returned yet another time without you.

Me and Mom with Uncle Johnse ... June 20, 2013

Me and Mom with Uncle Johnse … June 20, 2013

The next 6 hours were full, Daddy … full of stories and tales and lots of love. There Uncle Johnse laid in a hospital bed in the living room, unable to get up any longer, eye sight nearly gone, but a mind that was sharp with memories, dates, and details, and a heart that was so sweet and kind and thrilled that we came to see him. Your big brother, now 82 years old, laughing about how spoiled you were as a child, but all for good reason, he said, since you had asthma and were so sick ever since you were little. I felt like a sponge that day as I sat there and listened to stories … some I have heard told over and over, while others were new, each one full of life and love. From the portals of Heaven, I’m sure that you had gathered together as many family members as possible to join you and dear Aunt Bert in having a reunion of your own as Uncle Johnse so fondly spoke of his Elizabeth and his brother, John D. Obviously we couldn’t see you two, but we could feel your love in our hearts. Before we left, mom and I, along with Cathy and Uncle Johnse, held hands and I prayed…feeling as though I was standing in the gap between you and Jesus and Uncle Johnse. As I leaned over to kiss him ‘until next time’, I knew that someday you will be at the Gate waiting for him.

So here it is, July 7th. We all will make mention of this special day to those we are with, and even shed a tear or two as we continue to think about you and our loss. But as a child of God, I cannot help but believe that you are simply having the time of your Life. You are fishing in a new spot every day. You have been reunited with your hunting beagles and have no doubt rustled up a few rabbits from the bushes. You are surrounded by the elite of eternity, not to mention family and friends.  And above all, you get to celebrate this special day, and every day, with Jesus. It is because of Him that my questions can remain unanswered. It is because of Him, that I know all things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purposes. It is because of Him that “I know Whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I’ve committed unto Him against that day.”

Happy Anniversary, Daddy!
Thanks for always loving mom … back then and still today.
More importantly, thank you, for loving Jesus…back then and still today.

Until next time,
Your Bobbie Naw

A Pocket of Christmas Sadness

13 Dec

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.
Psalm 46:4-5

In the midst of the joyful carols, twinkling lights, and buying gifts for my loved ones, I recently found a pocket of sadness that I couldn’t seem to shake.  Somewhere in between “I’ll be Home for Christmas” and the wreath that I hung on our front door, my heart fell hard, and it was several days before it was able to get back up again.  In the early morning darkness that greeted my somber soul, I made a mental list of reasons for my depth of despair.  When they were all added together, somehow they all justified the extreme slump of spirit or at least gave an excuse for the tears that would easily spill over at any moment.

Our beautiful children!

Christmas 2010

As the calendar begins to come to a close each year, the holidays always have a way of sweeping me up into its clutches of planning, decorating, shopping, and anticipating the thrill of having my family gather in.  This is one place where my heart stumbled and fell down, for it is not ‘our turn’ for any of the kids to be with us this year for Christmas.  I truly thought I was more mature and responsible … beyond feeling such an ache for my children.  But I thought wrong.  It’s Christmas, and I miss them!

Friends have always been such a blessing to my heart.  I am certainly grateful to have renewed the connection with some of my precious friends from living in Pennsylvania years ago … but I left behind many others in several parts of the country.  It’s Christmas, and I miss them!

Then there’s my Daddy… He’s been with Jesus now for 18 years.  It’s Christmas, and I miss him!

Writing has always been very therapeutic for my hurting heart, so I gave consideration to pouring my heart out into letters to a few select souls.  But instead, I will reach into the archives of my blog and re-post my Christmas letter that I wrote last year to my Daddy.  Aside from some statistical family details, each word still describes my heart and the precious bitter-sweet memories of Christmases past.

Dear Daddy,

It would only be most appropriate to sit here and sip on a hot cup of coffee (with cream and sugar, as opposed to your favorite, black) as I jingle Heaven’s portals with a Christmas greeting to you. The sights and sounds of the holidays have a way of tugging at the memories of my heart, and I always miss you so much during this season.

You know that I so enjoy all of the music this time of year, but there is a distinct genre of songs that melt this little girl’s heart into a puddle of warm memories. Just a few notes of one of these songs, and I am immediately transported back to any cold December day in my childhood. Remember how you and I would go shopping together every Christmas and buy gifts for Mom? Every store we went into and every station on the radio would be playing “Have a Holly Jolly Christmas” or “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire”. I loved being with you, Daddy … your funny little quirks of always stopping at the men’s cologne counter to splash a half-dozen different scents of after shave lotion on your face, often taking my own little face in your hands and lovingly pat the potpourri of manly fragrances on my little girl cheeks. A few more songs like the musical rendition of “Sleigh Ride” and “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” would serenade us as we began our quest for the right gift that year for mom. You loved to have a lot of gifts under the tree for her ~ I always felt like it was your way of showing her how much you loved and appreciated her. Soft and flowing night gowns with matching robes, a new winter coat with accompanying boots, and of course, peanut brittle. Oh, the big gifts were different every year, but we also always got her a box of peanut brittle. I picked up that yummy tradition in your honor until a few years ago when she began to make her own homemade brittle … thinking of you the entire time she’s doing so, I’m sure. Speaking of peanuts, on our way out of Sears and Roebuck, you would usually swing by the snack area and buy you and me a small bag of warm salted cashews. How fun to remember how special that made me feel that you would stop and buy this special treat for me … you and me. I don’t even know if we saved any for mom and the boys.

I had to chuckle the other day as I was walking through the grocery store and passed by the infamous bag of mixed nuts! Do you remember the glass dish that mom got out at Christmas and filled with all sorts of hard candy, oranges, and nuts? I think of you every time I look for something in the utility drawer in my own kitchen and I see the nut cracker and pick. I have so many simple, but oh so special holiday memories of you, Daddy.

Your birthday is coming soon, which always means that Christmas is only a few hours away. You were always so gracious, having a Christmas Eve birthday, to excitedly accept your annual birthday gift of new Christmas pajamas right along with us kids! Still to this day, you are always remembered and sung to in the unique Wells tradition … as the birthday cake is shared by many December birthdays each year. “… Happy Birthday, dear Daddy / Grandpa Johnny!”

There is an unmistakable warmth, safe and secure, and happy feeling ~ embraced with all the love a little girl’s heart can hold ~ when I think of you, Daddy … especially at Christmas time. The aromas, the sounds of the holidays, the fun varieties of cookies, snacks, fruit, and the Christmas dinner itself, … and just the presence of our family together. Thank you, Daddy, for sufficiently providing for us, with not only the things we needed, but with lots of love, attention, and security. I know your grandkids still remember you for your extreme heart of fun and love that always made each one of them feel so special. You have great grandkids now, Daddy! Tim is a grandpa to Kailee’s kids, and Jay is just weeks away from holding his first grandson! And I will once again be Mimi as Kim is expecting her second little one in May … her own little girl! Oh Daddy … I miss you so!

You know how busy it gets this time of year, but we all plan to be together once again at your house. You may not physically be there, but you will be there. Your example, your jovial and sometimes feisty spirit, and your love will always be with us! Instead of the 5 of us, plus Mammy and Pappy ~ like it was every year for many years, there will be 25 of us and 3 babies on the way. What a blessed heritage you gave to each of us … yes, you will be there. Make that 26.

The older I get, the more I miss you. There must be something about better understanding the struggles and the hard times of life ~ and wishing that I had paid more attention and spent more time on my knees then than I did. But here we are. The journey for me continues, and I know that my tears will continue to flow from time to time … until they will be dried by Jesus Himself as I am met by you at that great Gate … Someday.

Well, I will hush for now, Daddy. I promise to meet you here again, from time to time, on the pages of my heart. Happy 78th Birthday, Merry Christmas, and I love you!

Until next time,
Your Bobby Naw

Mom with your 3 newest great grandbabies

Mom with your 3 newest great grandbabies

P.S.  It’s 2012 now … Those 3 new babies have come, Daddy … oh what fun they are!  Kailee’s Leyton, Jason’s Jaxon,  and Kim’s Lillianne.  Those little cousins got to meet one another in October when Kim, Baby Lillie and I flew out to Mom’s for my birthday visit.  And speaking of birthdays, this Christmas Eve will be your 79th!  There will be fewer people gathered around the Christmas table in Indiana this year, but you will be there in the hearts of us all.

Happy Birthday and Merry Christmas Daddy … I love you and miss you so!

Family Home Movies

9 Jan

As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been
demon-possessed begged to go with him.   Jesus did not let him, but said,
“Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you,
and how he has had mercy on you.”   So the man went away and began
to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him.
And all the people were amazed.
Mark 5:18-20

 

My parents are passing down a legacy of memories that my brothers and I, and our children, will forever cherish.  From my earliest recollections as a small child, all the way up into my adult years, the brightness of the light bar and the sight of my mom or dad taking home movies was a natural part of life nearly as much as was my Daddy and his coffee. 

Wells Christmas 1961

Click below to watch this clip from 1961
1961 Wells Christmas
 
Over the course of 30 some years, reel after reel of 8 mm and Super 8 mm films were recorded and added to the collection that could always be found in a box in the front hall closet.  Many years ago while still living in my parents’ home, I began to organize this wealth of family heritage as I clicked out on the family’s old typewriter detailed notes of each individual reel.  This very rough but fairly accurate list of information was kept with the reels so whenever someone suggested on a lazy holiday afternoon that we watch home movies, we randomly pulled out several reels and could read the corresponding notes.

With the ever-changing quick tempo of technology and all that it offers, my parents’ movie camera eventually became a thing of the past.   It was replaced by the next generation’s VHS cameras and now digital video.  But in the bottom of that closet still laid priceless footage of our family and friends.  My mom often thought about transferring these antique memories into something more user-friendly, since it was always quite a chore to get out the projector, the box of films, and then to set up the movie screen.  After much research on Google and then inquiring phone calls to specific businesses, a final decision was made to use Digmypics.com, a company in Arizona, to transfer our home movies into DVDs.  For a few months in the spring of 2008, I made regular visits to my mom’s house where together we took my original typewritten notes and verified dates, special occasions, and familiar faces as we went through thousands of feet of movie film.  Once reels, lists, and instructions were fully updated and organized, all 7,500 feet of our family’s memories were boxed up and shipped Fed-Ex to Arizona.  Long story short, there was a fire in Arizona around 2 a.m. on the same morning that our box arrived on site.  Due to the complete loss of the facility just 6 hours prior, the shipment was refused and sent back to us inIndiana.  Our family was stunned at the near devastation of losing our priceless memories, so we once again put the box of reels back into the closet. 

Jay's 14th birthday

Click below to watch this clip of my brother Jay’s 14th birthday
 
Life for all of us kept its usual fast pace, but this past spring, mom decided it was time to send the box back to Arizona.  Digmypics.com has since rebuilt, and is now the largest web based photo scanning and video transfer service in America.  They were extremely gracious in dealing with us by charging our order from the 2008 price sheet.  Within a few short weeks of receiving our films, they had processed each reel, cleaned the films, and then uploaded them to a website which we could access in order to view, organize, and to title.  What a thrill it was to open the very first chapter and see my own mother at the age of 6 years old with her two big brothers, out playing in their side yard in Nashville,Indiana.  Within moments, there was my Pappy driving up the big hill to his parents’ home in his ’36 Chevy.  Reminiscing has a way of stealing my time, so I lost a few hours here and there while finalizing our order from Digmypics.com.  Grandparents, aunts and uncles, my gazillion cousins, friends, neighbors, church family, my own Daddy  ~  Christmases, birthdays, vacations, graduations, births  ~  Cars, trucks, fish, water skiing, dogs, cats, school buses, …   

I have come to a deeper appreciation for my Mother over the past few months as I have spent many hours working on this project in an attempt to provide something precious and most valuable to our families.  Thank you, Mom, for taking the time and making the effort to often pick up the camera and the light bar  …  and for giving us all this priceless gift that we will cherish for as long as life gives us breath… and for generations to come.

Vacation in Holland, Michigan 1971

Click below to watch this clip from our summer vacation in 1971
Summer vacation in Holland, MI 1971
 
 
The project is now complete.  We have 9 full DVDs, divided into 139 chapters.  We also ordered a portable hard drive so we can edit the unabridged version and share with extended family and friends.   Watching these memories come back to life will bring laughter, tears, and a lot of different emotions … but my prayer is that each person will be in awe of how God has had His hand of protection, His hand of comfort, His hand of love, and His hand of mercy on our families through the years.  May we not fail to go away and begin to tell how much Jesus has done for us. 

As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been
demon-possessed begged to go with him.  Jesus did not let him, but said,
“Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you,
and how he has had mercy on you.”  So the man went away and began
to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him.
And all the people were amazed.
Mark 5:18-20

 

Until next time,
Debbie

 

For my friends who subscribe to Morsels of Mercy and automatically get a copy sent to your email, check out the blog on my website to see additional photos of my family         https://morselsofmercy.wordpress.com

**  Blog photo of a home movie clip  ~ my Daddy and I in our new backyard 1962.