Saturday, June 24, 2006


I never dreamed the day would come when I am helping to take care of my mother. It stirs so many memories and thoughts of time and how it so swiftly passes, as she has been reminding me for as far back as I can remember!

To Mother:

When I reflect upon the influence you have had on my life, many things you have said and done are permanently etched on my "mind's eye." There was the baking, the laughing, the reminiscing, the waiting for Daddy to come home, the waiting ON Daddy, the laundry; your teaching of school, your surgeries, your deep friendships, your love of literature and the written word; holidays, camp fire girl mints, your favorite things, church dinners; what made you happy, what made you mad, what made you laugh and what made you cry.

What I love most about you is your ability to capture the essence of a story, on paper or in storytelling—how I love to hear you tell the stories of your childhood and of your mother and your daddy, Cooper, and Simpson College. Not to mention the love story of all time, you and Daddy. You taught me that romance stays alive when you work at it and want it badly enough; no matter the circumstances, no matter how much time passes.

You’ve taught me that children are God’s messengers and that children ARE to be heard and never ever ignored—“accepted in the Beloved equaled accepted in Amanda.” (Interesting, isn't it? that "Amanda" means "beloved.") You have shown me over and over--and over--that it is to the Lord we turn when we’ve simply lost our sunglasses, or when we believe our whole world is about to end. You have made me to understand that no matter what happens, you can be cheerful about it, no matter how much pain you suffer, no matter what you may lose. And that even when you’re older, it’s never too late to learn and grow and change, and draw ever nearer to the Lord.

You have taught me what "until death us do part" really means. I'm watching you serve Daddy with your own limitations, but doing it lovingly and with an intensity and devotion that only comes from years of loving one another. You're experiencing loss, and yet you are continuing on and fighting with every fiber of your being to hang on to the love that has meant everything to you.

And finally, you’ve taught me that you may lose your eyesight, but you don’t have to lose your vision. Your vision of a world that turns to the Lord, that honors men in uniform, that understands what is truth, and your vision of a time when your body will be whole, and a time when you see Jesus, face to face.

A wonderful, timeless mother, teacher and dearest friend.

Love, Becky

Saturday, June 17, 2006


I honestly don't believe that in the 1950s, on Oso Street, in the San Fernando Valley, in the State of California, or in the whole wide world for that matter, there could have been a man that loved his family more than Daddy.

Here he is with his firstborn,
Judi, born while he was away
at pilot training school in Texas
during a World War...

And then came the baby boom...and he had a son, Tim.

And then there were twins, Becky and Bobby, and Daddy was a father of four...

Always proud to show off for Bobby...

And to delight
in his daughter...

"A father of a daughter is nothing but a high-class hostage. A father turns a stony face to his sons, berates them, shakes his antlers, paws the ground, snorts, runs them off into the underbrush, but when his daughter puts her arm over his shoulder and says, "Daddy, I need to ask you something," he is a pat of butter in a hot frying pan." --Garrison Keillor

Saying good-bye to my Daddy in 1970...

How do you give honor to a man of honor...his honor speaks for itself, and especially so for this Daddy. Growing up I know we all took it for granted that he loved us, was proud of us, was teaching us, was playing with us, and sacrificed for us. But now that I am grown and enjoying my own children and their children--his great-grandchildren--I know that at 8454 Oso Avenue, there were children in that home that were blessed among children.

From time to time I find myself asking why God chose to bless my life as He has...there are no answers to that question, but I do know that it began with my Daddy. I knew I was loved, accepted, sacrificed for. I knew I would disappoint him, I knew I would be forgiven, and above all, I knew that I was taking it for granted that he would always be there for me.

Now his living has slowed down. He's in those golden years everyone talks about as though its golden. It isn't golden, it's sad. But even so, I treasure these so-called golden years. It's because I know what he gave to me, to my children, my grandchildren, and to so many, many people he lived generously for.

As I ponder my relationship with Daddy today, I realize this is a golden moment in my own life. There is still time to honor him, to love him, and to sacrifice for him now. A time to give back all the precious things he has given to me, among them, acceptance, forgiveness, and sacrifice. And the beautiful part of it all, is that if anything is unsaid or unspoken, we know it in our hearts, just as God knows what we need before we ask it, and answers before we've even uttered the prayer. So I will just whisper today, "thank you, Daddy."

Daddy and I at the Getty, 2006

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Let the Celebration Begin!

Hi Kids! You're all invited to a weekend in the lap of luxury, sand in the toes, ocean mist in your face, golf carts, bar-b-que, naps, reading, snorkeling, sunscreen, birthday cake for Dad's 60th, and grandparents who love to babysit--throw in a little bit of good ol' Martin chaos--and we're off and running! Mark your calendars--August 19-21. The theme for Dad's 60th is CATALINA OR BUST, or, "How we broke the bank in Catalina!" So save your pennies for the extras and we'll sail away together.

Love, Mom and Dad